Twain Harte Community Services District is moving forward with a project to drill a new municipal well that officials hope will supplement the town's reduced water supply due to the drought.
The THCSD board met Thursday and authorized District General Manager Tom Trott to use $60,000 in emergency water reserves to start the drilling process with Sonora-based well drillers Tanko Brothers Inc. The district is also seeking state and federal grants to complete the rest of the project, which is estimated to cost nearly $500,000.
THCSD is a wholesale customer of Tuolumne Utilities District that purchases and treats raw water out of the ditch system to serve roughly 1,600 customers in Twain Harte.
TUD is cutting deliveries to THCSD and all other wholesale customers by 50 percent under water-use restrictions enacted by the district's board on Jan. 28. In response to the restrictions, the THCSD board is requiring all water customers to cut their usage by 50 percent.
The restrictions also ban lawn watering and authorize penalties and fines for customers who don't cut their usage by at least 25 percent. Lawn watering accounts for roughly half of an average household's annual water usage, so customers with lawns can meet the requirements by complying with the ban.
However, Twain Harte residents have a more difficult time meeting the requirements than many other communities in TUD's sphere because most properties in the town are landscaped with water-efficient chaparral and trees. Still, THCSD customers managed to cut their usage by 32 percent last month.
Another concern is that the population of the town doubles and water usage typically triples each summer as visitors flock to the area for vacation.
THCSD is hoping the new well will be able to produce at least 100 gallons per minute, roughly 36 percent of the town's average summer water usage.
For the complete story, see the May 12, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.