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Commentary

It's wise to be water wise in time of drought

By: Gray Allen Director, Placer County Water Agency
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Roseville residents have a lot for which to be thankful: a beautiful, well-planned city with excellent schools, parks, city services, shopping and cultural opportunities, but especially its high-quality, reliable water supply. Millions of other Californians envy the abundant supplies that our watershed provides year after year. In this year of declared drought in California, Roseville residents need not worry – nor should the tens of thousands of other Placer County citizens who depend on the Placer County Water Agency for all or a portion of their water supply. PCWA’s reservoirs hold more than ample water for this year’s anticipated consumption. Be Water Wise However, PCWA fully supports water conservation efforts by everyone – all of the time. No one knows what next year may bring in the way of rain or snow, therefore it is always wise to use only what one needs. Not only does PCWA support wise use of water, we encourage it through a variety of water conservation, educational and customer-support programs. Any customer interested in learning more about being water wise or the installation of water-efficient fixtures or irrigation systems should contact PCWA for a free water audit and water conservation information. While the Bureau of Reclamation, which supplies a portion of Roseville’s water, has announced a 25 percent cutback in deliveries from Folsom Lake, PCWA has contracts with Roseville for supplemental supplies that would fill the gap in the bureau’s deliveries. The water is available, if needed. In fact, no PCWA customer – farmer, business, homeowner, municipality – need worry about being shorted on water from PCWA this year. Rich Legacy Placer County’s comparatively stable water supply is the result of the foresight of previous generations. Fifty years ago, visionary community leaders created PCWA, secured water rights and passed bonds to build the Middle Fork American River Hydroelectric Project. The ingenious network of dams, pipelines, hydroelectric plants and water treatment and distribution facilities assures current and future generations of an ample and reliable supply of high-quality water for homes, farms and industry at reasonable cost. This is a legacy that every citizen of Placer County should cherish. I encourage you to learn more about the source of your water and the issues that affect it by visiting our Web site: www.pcwa.net. One issue in particular is currently top of mind – water rights. Water Rights Threat An attempt is underway by the State Water Resources Control Board to revoke the Bureau of Reclamation’s Auburn Dam water rights because of years of inaction on the project. While PCWA takes no position concerning whether the Auburn Dam permits should be revoked, it does have a strong interest in protecting and preserving that water for the benefit of the region. PCWA believes that if the Bureau’s water right permits are to be revoked, the water under those permits should be reserved for development and use in the American River watershed. Protecting those rights would not only honor the vision and enterprise of the county leaders who created our water supply, it would also assure future generations a reliable source of water for continued growth and prosperity. – Gray Allen, a resident of Roseville since 1978, was elected to the Placer County Water Agency in 2006 to represent the portion of Roseville included in Placer County Supervisorial District 1.