No water rationing expected for water districts within Basin

Samantha P. Hawthorne
Staff Writer

The topic of water rationing has been on the minds of many California residents as water companies throughout the state put restrictions on water usage. Hamilton Branch Community Service District General Manager Mike Roarty announced Jan. 15 that district residents do not have to worry — there will be no rationing within its boundaries.

As of Jan. 14, the United States Drought Monitor reported extreme drought conditions throughout the majority of California, attributing them to “increasingly poor water-year precipitation and alarmingly meager mountain snowpacks.”

The current dry spell has been compared to the two-year drought in 1976-77 that changed water management practices in California. Last year was recorded as the driest year in California history by around 20 percent.

Despite this, HBCSD’s water supply is “flowing as hard as ever,” said Roarty. Similar comments were made by water utility districts throughout the Basin and into Indian Valley.

Indian Valley Community Services District General Manager Jesse Lawson said the district is producing more water than is being used so there will be no water rationing within its boundaries.

Chester Public Utility District Operator/Lead Supervisor Andy Capella said, “We are on the top of the food chain as far as water is concerned — our supply does not fluctuate that much so we don’t need to ration water. We are fortunate to have an abundance of water that we tap from the ground.”

According to the office staff at Lake Almanor Country Club Mutual Water Co. there has been no talk of rationing within that district.

Chris Durkin, manager of West Almanor Mutual Water Co., said, “In our area there has always been plenty of water and I have never heard of any wells drying up. The drought is not affecting our drinking water like it is in the rest of California. The whole Basin gets their water from underground so we could be in a drought and still have an excellent supply of ground water.”

On Jan. 17 California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought emergency, saying, “All I can report to you is it’s not raining today and it’s not likely to rain for several weeks.” During his speech at a San Francisco conference he urged Californians to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent. “We ought to be ready for a long, continuous, persistent effort,” he said.

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