Drought update and water curtailment - EID customer conservation is at 8 percent
The Sacramento Bee reported in mid-June that the Sacramento region had cut its water use by 10 percent and California as a whole had cut its water use by 5 percent for the period from January to May. For the same period, EID’s customers had cut water use by 6 percent. Currently, cumulative year-to-date (from January 1) customer conservation is at 8 percent. We still have a long way to go, but with your help we can meet our conservation goal. Thank you for your efforts thus far. Go to www.eid.org/ConservationProgress for more information.
EID has reached out to its customers to conserve water so we can ensure adequate carryover storage in Jenkinson Lake, the district’s main water storage reservoir—and many customers are conserving. Adequate carryover means keeping enough water in the lake to buffer against the potential effects of another dry winter. EID staff has identified a 25,000 acre-foot carryover storage target to put this critical reservoir in a much better position heading into another possible year of drought.
But customer conservation is more vital than ever. The District offers some complimentary water conservation supplies for inside your home, including plumbing retrofit kits which include a low-flow showerhead, bathroom faucet aerators, and toilet tank bags to reduce flush volume. To obtain these supplies stop by EID’s main office at 2890 Mosquito Road in Placerville between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Visit the residential section of the water efficiency page on the EID web site for more information.
Water rights under threat
The State Water Resources Control Board threw a curveball at EID at the end of May. They issued a directive ordering us to immediately curtail all of our post-1914 (junior) water diversions.
While that directive didn’t have an immediate effect on the majority of district customers, it required that we call a Stage 4 Water Emergency in the Outingdale community because the water they receive is from a post-1914 diversion from the Middle Fork Cosumnes River. Normally this would mean that all diversions must cease, but since this diverted water is Outingdale’s sole source of water, the state is allowing us to provide 68 gallons of water per person per day to satisfy health and safety requirements.
We have reason to believe the state board is not finished going after our water rights. There’s a possibility they will go after senior water rights next—so-called “pre-1914” water rights that form the majority of our water portfolio. This would be catastrophic for the District and its customers.
So conserving water now becomes ever more critical in this uncertain time and persistent drought. I always say it is best to plan for the worst and hope for the best. EID is planning for the worst: another dry year. While we hope next winter is a wet one, with your help, we will be prepared if it’s not.