Twain Harte declares drought emergency

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat /

The Twain Harte Community Services District on Tuesday declared a water shortage emergency, advanced to mandatory conservation measures and updated the public on the water shortage.

In a special meeting, the board of directors set a water conservation goal of 50 percent of last year's usage and a mandatory reduction rate for each customer - demanding they only use 75 percent of what they used in the same month last year, punishable by fines and penalties.

This follows almost exactly a decision earlier this month by Tuolumne Utilities District, which provides THCSD's water and most of the public water for the county.

The Twain Harte district urged people to save as much water as possible and displayed the seriousness of the situation with new numbers in a presentation by General Manager Tom Trott.

Trott said 90 percent of California is in "severe", "extreme" or "exceptional" water shortage. He said it is the first time the term "exceptional" - the new highest-ranking word - is being used.

In local numbers, Pinecrest Reservoir is about 17 percent full and Lyons Reservoir is about 38 percent full. Those reservoirs provide the public water for nearly all of Tuolumne County, except the Groveland area, Trott said. Those numbers are not too far below average for the time of year - however, the district is concerned about the lack of upstream snow that would normally begin refilling them.

For the full story see today's Union Democrat.

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