Sonora, CA — The T.U.D. Board of Directors moved forward on two important decisions at today’s meeting. First, the board unanimously approve a contract for engineering and design services on the upcoming Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Project. The $637,000 contract with the firm Horizon Water and the Environment can now begin to get permits for wildlife surveys and studies.
The improvement project is expected to take two and a half years, is estimated to cost $6-million, and involves the dredging of 430,000 cubic yards of sediment and restoring 300-acre ft. of storage capacity in Phoenix Lake. A nearly $1.6-million grant from the IRWM-Proposition 84 round two funding cycle is expected to cover costs that are part of the permitting process.
Second, the T.U.D. board voted in favor of dropping from Phase III water restrictions to Phase II Mandatory Water Restrictions. After some debate the board voted 3-1 in favor with Board Vice President Kent Johnson against. Much of the debate involved keeping limited water restrictions of 10% to ensure meeting state mandates and the unknown outcome of this rainy season.
Board of Director Ron Kopf says, “Our new normal is conservation. everybody is in the 10-15% conservation mode regardless- especially if there is a rate increase and there is some additional dollars. I think to go to 10% or 5%… I think its confusing. There is not that much water usage in the fall.”
The district has been at Phase III since the end of April. T.U.D. meeting documents show that customers have reduced usage by 35% from June through October, and the state mandate is 24%. The district is expected to remain above the collective 24% level under the assumption that customers use the amount of water consumed during a regular year, over the next several months.
The most notable change for customers in dropping to Phase II conservation will be the restriction of watering outdoors to two times a week. For more information on the Phase II restrictions, you can click here.