THCSD eases drought cutback

By Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat

About 1,600 Twain Harte residents will no longer be required to cut their water usage in half, a ripple effect from the Tuolumne Utilities District board's decision this week to lower TUD's water-use reduction goal from 50 to 25 percent.

The Twain Harte Community Services District Board of Directors voted unanimously Wednesday morning to match TUD and lower its reduction goal to 25 percent as well. THCSD General Manager Tom Trott praised the community for conservation efforts that he said helped to improve the district's water supply outlook, at least for the rest of the summer.

From May 16 to June 15, THCSD customers used 60 percent less water than last year. The percentage dropped to 52 percent from June 16 to July 15, which Trott attributed to major population increases from summer tourism. TUD customers cut their water usage by nearly 50 percent in May and 51 percent in June.

"It has taken extreme conservation levels and extreme community sacrifice to get our water supply to this point," he said. "We are certainly not out of the woods - the drought definitely isn't over - but our community's efforts over these past six months have enabled us to continue forward in a somewhat less-extreme manner."

THCSD serves about 1,600 customers with water purchased from TUD, the county's largest water purveyor.

In response to a possible critical shortage of water in Lyons Reservoir this summer, the TUD board approved Phase III water restrictions on Jan. 28 that set the district's water-use reduction goal at 50 percent. The goal remained in effect until Tuesday's TUD board meeting, though a ban on lawn watering was lifted for district customers in mid-June.

TUD also slashed raw-water deliveries by 50 percent for agriculture users and wholesale customers, such as THCSD.

For the complete story, see the July 24, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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