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Nevada District declares water shortage emergency

Cemeteries ask for understanding of dry lawns
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The Nevada Irrigation District board of directors declared a water shortage emergency Wednesday for the agency’s Placer County irrigation customers. It is the second emergency declaration by a water agency after an April 19 Bear River Canal break that is affecting irrigation water customers from Applegate to Auburn down to Newcastle, Penryn, Loomis, western Lincoln and the eastern portion of Rocklin. On Tuesday night the Placer County Water Agency board of directors confirmed a resolution declaring a water shortage emergency. Its irrigation customers in the upper and lower Service Zone 1 are experiencing the heaviest impact. NID Operations Supervisor Sue Sindt said 996 irrigation customers have been notified of rotating canal outages of three days on and three days off. Sindt said another 500 customers might also begin outages in the weeks to come. NID irrigation water customers between Auburn and Lincoln are impacted by the canal break, NID said. Ron Nelson, NID general manager, said it is unlikely that any of its treated water customers will be impacted, but the agency is asking all North Auburn treated water customers to conserve water for irrigation customers. NID is currently pumping nine cubic feet per second of raw water into Rock Creek Reservoir to assist PCWA customers. PCWA is pumping 90 cfs through the Ophir Pump Station in Service Zone 3 from the American River. Of the supply, 20 cfs are available to NID for customers on the Auburn Ravine system, according to Mike Nichol, director of field services for PCWA. Normally 420 cfs flow through the Bear River Canal. NID uses 120 cfs and PCWA uses 244 cfs. For more information, visit nidwater.com or call NID at (530) 273-6185. Cemetery district asks for understanding during water shortage The Auburn Cemetery District is asking for understanding during a 50 percent cutback in the lawn watering of the new and old cemeteries. Sue Potter, district manager, said the district, a Placer County Water Agency customer, has voluntarily cutback on 50 percent of its watering to save the water for the irrigation customers who are suffering after the Bear River Canal break that has left many with little or no water. “First off, our district and myself, we are both empathetic to the agriculture (water customers) … and understand the priority of that over the cemetery grounds, but I just thought it would be good to let the public know so that when they come to visit they are not surprised,” Potter said. Potter said originally the district was not watering at all, but after talking with PCWA decided it could go back to 50 percent of its normal water usage. “We want the public to be aware that the canal outage has impacted the cemetery grounds, and they should be prepared to see the grounds are going to have significantly dry areas,” she said. Potter said the district believes it can maintain its grounds with the 50 percent cut, and it may continue on that schedule until full flow is restored in the Bear River Canal. “It’s sounding as though we will be able to do that, but if PCWA directs us that they have a need, that we need to cut back further, we will definitely be doing that,” she said. Potter said anyone with questions could call her at (530) 885-5922 or PCWA at (530) 823-4850, or visit pcwa.net. ~Bridget Jones