CCWD: Enough water for project

May 11, 2003 11:00 pm

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Development in Copperopolis is seldom discussed without someone asking whether there's enough water.

Most recently, the environmental impact report for Oak Canyon Ranch — a proposed large-scale housing development — says the Calaveras County Water District lacks the water hookups to serve all the lots that could be developed in town, if Oak Canyon is approved.

But water district officials said that by the time Oak Canyon and other Copperopolis developments are built out, the community will have more than enough water to fulfill needs.

"We have enough supply to meet our demands for the next 20 years," CCWD Engineer Steve Hutchings said.

Oak Canyon Ranch co-developer Maury Froman is confident his project's water needs can be met.

The water is there, but CCWD doesn't have the rights to it yet, Froman said.

To serve Copperopolis — which is part of the water district's Copper Cove Service Area — the district pumps water from Tulloch Reservoir into the surrounding communities.

The district has the state's permission to pump 6,000 acre feet each year from the reservoir. That's enough water for 8,500 connections.

The 1,750 connections now in the Copper Cove Service Area consume about 1,200 acre-feet each year.

Oak Canyon Ranch will have 4,450 connections. CCWD officials said other developments in Copperopolis add between 20 and 100 connections annually.

Water district officials said they could exceed their 8,500-connection capacity in about 20 years.

They would need about 10,000 connections in the Copper Cove Service Area once the Copperopolis area is built out — and that includes the 2,675 full-time residences at Oak Canyon Ranch, and another 335 houses in the proposed Tuscany Hills development.

The extra water needs could easily be served by applying for a permit from the state allowing them to take an extra 1,000 acre feet each year from Tulloch Reservoir.