Sunday May 04 2008
PCWA has H20 for Roseville water needs
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Water agency provides assurances in wake of 'drought alert'
A drought alert by the city of Roseville has been answered by assurances from the Placer County Water Agency that adequate water supplies are readily available. David Breninger, water agency general manager, reported that surface water supplies available from the agency’s Middle Fork Project upstream from Auburn are “more than adequate to meet the needs of all agency retail and wholesale customers this year.” “The city of Roseville has a long-standing wholesale water purchase contract with the agency for surface water supplies and it includes provisions for emergencies to meet ‘shortage’ conditions such as the city is facing now,” Breninger said. Roseville’s Environmental Utilities Department activated last Wednesday what it described as a “stage one drought alert” within the South Placer County city’s borders in response to a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation letter stating it planned to reduce the water it would allot to Roseville by 25 percent. Derrick Whitehead, director of environmental utilities, called on Roseville water customers to reduce their use by 10 percent and said water waste patrols would increase to ensure water is being used efficiently and that any leaks are repaired. Restaurants are being asked to not serve water, except upon request. Street, sidewalk and driveway washing are now prohibited. Einar Maisch, the agency’s director of strategic affairs, said existing wholesale water contracts between the agency and city allow Roseville to purchase up to 30,000 acre-feet of water from Placer County Water Agency. That’s far more than the 1,200 acre-foot shortfall the city anticipates as a result of the bureau’s reduction this year, he said. The agency directors have authorized a letter to be sent to the city, stating that the water provider stands ready to assist city officials in resolving its projected 1,200 acre-foot shortage. Roseville Mayor Jim Gray issued a statement that development of the city’s underground aquifer storage program in tandem with conservation measures should help the city deal with drought conditions if they worsen. “But we cannot do it alone,” Gray said. “Everyone in Roseville needs to do their part to help meet the 10 percent water use reduction goal.” The city plans to mail letters to all households and businesses in Roseville over the next few weeks regarding its drought stage campaign. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.