CCWD preps for a drought

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

More water agencies in the Mother Lode are taking steps to prepare for what is projected to be the driest year on record.

On Friday, Tuolumne Utilities District began calling for voluntary water conservation from the roughly 44,000 Tuolumne County residents, with plans for more restrictive mandatory requirements by the end of the month.

Calaveras County Public Utility District launched its voluntary water conservation program the same day, though its supply situation doesn't appear to be quite as dire - at least, for now.

"We're just asking for constituents to do their fair share and reduce water use by 20 percent as the governor has requested," said CPUD General Manager Donna Leatherman, referring to Gov. Jerry Brown's Friday announcement declaring a water emergency in the state of California. "We will be watching the situation closely and implementing further conservation measures if we feel it's necessary … I don't have any real predictions as to where we are going to be in the next couple months."

Brown's proclamation called on all of the state's regional water agencies to reduce overall water usage by 20 percent, following a number of requests for an official drought declaration from state lawmakers over the past several weeks.

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