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County Keeping Close Eye On Drought

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Supervisors extended the local State of Emergency Declaration due to the drought, and heard an update on the number of wells going dry.

The Board formally voted, 5-0, to extend the drought declaration. The county reports that 80 homes have had water wells go dry over the past year. So far, 21 homes have been referred for permanent connections via the Tuolumne Utilities District, and 20 wells, supporting 29 homes, have received assistance through the Amador-Tuolumne Community Resources Agency.

Tuolumne County Environmental Health has received triple the number of well permit applications, compared to a typical period. The drought has also created concerns about existing crops and livestock, as well as job losses due to a lack of winter activities.

District Five Supervisor Karl Rodefer noted concern that the rain headed for the region later this week is expected to be warm, and it could potentially melt some of the snowpack. He said the county will not have a good understanding about where things stand, related to water supply, until around April.

The county has been in a local State Of Emergency since February 4, 2014.