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State Board Gets Local Views On Pinecrest

Sonora, CA — The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) held a public workshop today regarding Pinecrest Reservoir’s lake level.

TUD General Manager Pete Kampa says he thinks that the Board is doing a great job listening to the community and ideas were talked about to revise the 35 year permit to allow for concerns raised in the meeting and since the recommended lake level was chosen in 2008-2009.

PG&E and TUD have submitted information to the Board stating that a variable and occasionally lower Pinecrest level is necessary. Kampa says this isn’t about basic sanitation, water to flush toilets, there is enough water for that. Kampa says, “When you have to rely on asking the state each year if you can have water supply for the summer because of a bad water year you don’t have predictability. You don’t have the ability to assure someone starting an industrial business that they are going to have water supply year round.”

This year because of the dry winter, the State Water Resources Board has issued a one-time waiver, so that Pinecrest Lake could drop to 5,606 ft. before Labor Day. T.U.D. had to implement “Phase Three” water conservation measures. Phase three prohibits and penalizes those who wash sidewalks, walkways, driveways, and other hard-surfaced areas by commercial or private use with TUD water.

In 2009, the SWRCB issued a 35 year permit to PG&E which disallowed deliveries of water from Pinecrest to TUD customers if Pinecrest Lake was expected to fall below 5,608 in elevation before Labor Day. Kampa believes the SWRCB regulation will require mandatory water conservation by TUD customers in many of the next 35 years.

The SWRCB is willing to answer questions and receive comments from members of the public on PG & E’s request for modification of the lake level. To learn more about the certification modification request or submit questions or comments view the links provided under “Spring Gap-Stanislaus Project, FERC #2130” at this website.