California Drought: Communities Nearly Out Of WaterBy: Tina Volpe - January 29, 2014
The threatened towns and districts are mostly small and in rural areas. Their water comes from reservoirs, wells and rivers, but in all of these cases, an extremely dry winter has left water supplies nearly depleted.
The communities that are feeling the worst of the drought are located in the greater bay area. Towns such as Cloverdale and Hearldsburg that are located in Sonoma County are among them. The Lompico Water District is also on the list, in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
“These systems all are experiencing challenges meeting customer need, and those challenges are exacerbated by drought conditions,” Matt Conens, spokesman for the California Department of Public Health, said in an e-mail to The Chronicle.
The health department is seeking to help the communities in several ways, Conens said. In some areas, new wells will be dug. In others, water may be hauled in. In some cases, smaller water systems will be connected with larger ones.
Since Gov. Jerry Brown’s declaration of a drought emergency earlier this month, it gave state agencies expanded powers and flexibility to intervene, so the state is poised to do what it can to ensure these communities receive water before they completely dry up.
Most of California has seen little or no rainfall this month, normally one of its rainy months, and a dry 2013 that set a calendar-year record for low rainfall in many areas.
Although the weather forecasts rain on Wed and Thurs this week, the rainfall is predicted to be minimal.
In addition to the list of districts and communities in danger of running dry includes the city of Willits, the Redwood Valley Community Water District and the Brooktrail Township Community Services District, all in Mendocino County.
The Sierra foothills are included as well, with Washington Ridge Conservation Camp in Nevada County, Ophir Gardens in Placer County, the Jackson Valley Irrigation District in Amador County and the Whispering Pines Apartments in Mariposa County are in danger of running out of water.
Other more southerly areas include the Bass Lake Water Company in Madera County and the Shaver Lake Heights Mutual Water Company and Sierra Cedars Community Services District, both in Fresno County.
Kern County is also on the list that include the Boulder Canyon Water Association, Cypress Canyon Water System, Lake of the Woods Mutual Water Company and Camp Condor.
Californians are more than likely doing rain dances about now.
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