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Auburn, Calif.- The Placer County Water Agency has earned a statewide award for saving water in its extensive canal system, which includes 165 miles of canals that wind through wide areas of Placer County.

The Best Management Practices Award, from the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA), was announced at Thursday’s (Feb. 17) meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors.

PCWA Director of Field Services Mike Nichol said the award, judged by a panel of elected state senators and assemblymen, recognized PCWA’s ongoing canal lining program to control water loss. 

The agency applies gunite, a sprayed concrete lining, to an average four miles of open canal per year to reduce leakage and seepage.  As an example, Nichol pointed to the Newcastle Canal where gunite lining has reduced water loss by nearly 25 percent over the past five years.

In other business, PCWA directors:

  • authorized staff to file the agency’s Application for New License with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the PCWA Middle Fork American River Project. The agency’s original 50-year federal license expires in 2013.
  • heard a report from Director of Strategic Affairs Einar Maisch regarding the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Nevada Irrigation District and Yuba County Water Agency, which are involved in relicensing proceedings similar to PCWA’s. Maisch said PCWA wants to be certain that water supplies to Placer County are not negatively impacted.
  • voted for the election of PCWA District 1 Director Gray Allen and two other candidates to the Placer County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). The PCWA board also supported Terry Cooney of the Auburn Cemetery District and William ‘Bill’ Schumacher of Midway Heights County Water District.
  • learned that the Pacific Gas and Electric Company has approved PCWA’s 2011 Power System budget of $13.8 million. The budget includes $4.8 million for the current project to rebuild the spillway on L.L. Anderson Dam at French Meadows Reservoir.
  • adjourned the meeting in memory of Ralph Leroy Breninger, who died Feb. 16 in Phoenix at age 88. Mr. Breninger was the father of PCWA General Manager David A. Breninger.

Information on PCWA board meetings may be obtained through the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.

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