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Water agency considers new reservoir

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Placer County Water Agency representatives are considering the impact a potential new reservoir in the Auburn area might have on its customers and Placer County. On Thursday the agency’s board of directors heard a presentation on studies for a new multi-million-dollar Garden Bar Reservoir that could run along the Bear River at the Placer and Nevada counties line. There are four potential sizes for the reservoir, ranging from 245,000 acre-feet to 400,000 acre-feet, and the costs of the project could range from $415.5 million to $674.5 million, according to agency documents. South Sutter Water District from Sutter County and five other water suppliers in Northern and Southern California are conducting the study of the potential future project, according to PCWA. According to PCWA, water rights for the reservoir have not been decided on yet but Garden Bar could provide 100,000 to 150,000 acre-feet of water per year. It is expected that revenues from hydroelectric power sales would offset the cost of operation. Preliminary plans show construction could happen in 2019-2022, and according to PCWA, South Sutter Water District is looking for more local partners in the project. ~Staff report