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No plans to restrict water in Auburn, officials say

Unlike Folsom, PCWA's supply is holding up despite drought
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The Placer County Water Agency isn’t suffering from the same water woes now facing Folsom. With its own water supply and storage system, the agency and its 38,000 customers are faring well with no restrictions on use during a drought year that has seen nearby Folsom forced to institute water-use restrictions. The county water agency, which takes in most of the Auburn area, has no restrictions in place and none are planned, General Manager David Breninger said. “Because Placer has developed our own area-of-origin water supply and built our own reservoirs and diversions, we have more than adequate water to meet the needs of customers in Placer County,” Breninger said. “In our county, we do not have a shortage.” Breninger said the agency empathizes with Folsom, which receives its water from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Folsom Reservoir and understands issues now confronting users in the delta, including a recent federal court order that removes a water-storing diversion dam earlier than usual to protect migrating salmon. Bureau cutbacks mean Folsom is facing a 10 percent cut in its total water supply for the year, with the heaviest part of the season nearing an end, according to City Manager Kerry Miller. “In order to make up the difference, we must achieve a citywide water-use reduction of approximately 20 percent,” Miller said. “We’ve already slashed water usage by 20 percent for landscape and lighting districts, local parks and city property – and we’re continuing to monitor and correct any overflow problems in those areas.” The Folsom City Council has also scheduled a session for Sept. 9 to consider an ordinance that would impose even more enforcement options. “We are hoping that residents will recognize the seriousness of the drought and comply voluntarily,” Miller said. A recent action by the Placer County Water Agency highlights just how different the situation is for Placer customers and Folsom residents. At a meeting earlier this month, water agency directors agreed to market 20,000 acre-feet of surplus water from its Middle Fork American River Project to the Westlands Water District for $125 an acre-foot. The one-time transfer is scheduled to start in September and be completed by the end of the year. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.