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Auburn, Calif.- Leaders of the Placer County Water Agency continue to express concern over proposed changes in Yuba River flows that would negatively impact the amount of water available to PCWA for its water customers.

 “There are major threats on the horizon and among them this is our No. 1 issue,” General Manager David Breninger said at Thursday’s (Aug. 16) meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors.  Breninger and staff members reported on the agency’s role in protecting and defending Placer County water supplies that originate from the Yuba and Bear River watersheds.  PCWA receives up to 125,400 acre-feet of this water each year, delivered via Pacific Gas and Electric Company water systems.

PG&E and the nearby Nevada Irrigation District (NID) are deeply involved in federal relicensing proceedings for their interconnected hydroelectric power systems that depend upon water diverted from the Yuba River and which then becomes the water supplied to PCWA and NID in Placer County.  PCWA Director of Strategic Affairs Einar Maisch said, “The agency is continuing to negotiate with federal resource agencies who have called for less diversion of water from the Yuba River.” He said, “up to 20,000 acre-feet or more water per year could be taken from the agency and even more from NID.  Such reductions would severely impact water customers across Placer County.”

Two weeks ago, PCWA directors authorized Breninger and staff to aggressively pursue Yuba River water supply protection efforts including an additional $500,000 for consulting and legal services to do so. “The Placer County Board of Supervisors is backing the water agency’s effort,” said county spokesman Brett Storey, who attended the meeting to convey the county’s support.

 In other business, PCWA directors:

  • heard an update on the agency’s countywide water system master planning process.  Deputy Director of Technical Services Brent Smith said small and independent water systems throughout the county are being studied and mapped as part of an ongoing and long-term effort to improve water service in the unserved and underserved mostly rural areas of the county.

 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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