The water company had asked all of its customers to reduce their water consumption and you have done so in grand style. There is much more to do.

Starting Monday, March 16th BLSMWC will be moving to Stage 3 of the Drought Plan and will be notifying all customers that additional use reduction is absolutely needed. All exterior or outside the home watering will be suspended. Washing vehicles of any kind must be set aside. Our goal is to reduce water consumption by an additional 35% system wide. This can and must be done. Why? The State of California’s Department of Water Resources reports in a recent test of the current Sierra snowpack, the water content is 18% of normal.

*THIS IS OUR WATER SUPPLY!!* Please go to: Click on: Drought. Then click on: Water Conditions

Nature controls the supply of water and we control the use. Now is that time. We must seize the moment and get ahead to further conservation. In so doing we will have more control on the future availability of water. Some will say this is a drastic move.  The situation is drastic.

As a matter of practice, the supply wells are monitored on a daily basis. One of the measures of water availability is how quickly a well recovers or recharges after a period of constant pumping. At the present, our wells are recovering in a timely manner, which is a direct reflection of the conservation efforts.

As you have read over the past number of months, the water company has been actively engaged in the search of new well sites. We have examined a number of different areas and out of nine or ten possibilities, only two have thus far been fruitful. Both are in the continuing development stages and should be on-line at the end of Summer 2015. The increasing number of non-performing well sites has to be reflective of the lack of water that is attributed to the 4-5 year drought. A non-performing well is one that is determined to have a water source but the gallons per minute (gpm) are so low that further development would be non-productive and cost negative. In addition to the search for new wells, we have reached out to neighboring water companies to explore the option of purchasing water.

At the March BLSMWC Board of Director’s monthly meeting the President of the Board of the Calaveras County Water District and their General Manager were in attendance. A number of months ago, we had sent an offer to CCWD and a counter was presented. The Board chose not to accept the counter offer and staff was directed to develop a new approach. CCWD has had a number of General Managers over the past few years. The BLS Board of Directors found the current Manager a breath of fresh air and willing to approach options.

We have also reached out to the Utica Water and Power Authority for the purchase of water and there appears to be definite interest. We have initiated an engineering study to determine if the transfer of water from Utica Power were to be possible to the BLS area.

As we advance into Stage 3 of the Drought Plan, the Board of Directors agreed to credit those accounts that have paid the handheld hose fee.  Since all outside watering has been suspended, the annual fee will be prorated and the balance credited to each individual’s account. We will make every effort to notify all ratepayers of this new change. Noncompliance of the restrictions set in Stage 3 of the Drought Plan will lead to a schedule of fines. No fines will be levied until we are satisfied everyone is informed of the recent changes and required due process is addressed.

In the coming weeks, I will be meeting with the Calaveras County Association of Realtors in the Arnold area and encourage all to carry our message of conservation to the renters and part-time visitors that are in the BLS area. I was asked recently, “Do we have a sufficient supply of water?” and “Is there a water shortage?” Earlier I mentioned that we closely track the recovery or recharging of the wells after the well has been drawn upon for water supply. According to the oversight, the wells are recovering and seem to be strong. A large portion of this recovery is due to the conservation and lower water demand.  In order to insure this continues, we must further reduce our use.

Finally, over the past few months, I have asked if anyone has any water use saving ideas. I know some do. Get your idea to us and we will make you a famous author. We are all in this together and every little bit helps. Working together, we can do wonders.

Bob Maginnis
President of the Board