SONORA, CA: The storms that passed through the area this past weekend have improved the water supply outlook for Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD), but more water is still needed. According to Glen Nunnelley, District Associate Engineer, the Sonora area received about 3.5 inches of precipitation from the last series of storms. “The latest storm has improved our water supply. The accumulated rainfall is now at about 15 inches, so we are better off now than we were in the 1976-1977 season which had about 10 inches total at the end of March. But we are still well behind normal totals and could use another storm or two like this last one,” states Nunnelley.
Precipitation and snowfall are relied upon every year to replenish the main water supply for the county with water storage at Pinecrest and Lyons Reservoirs. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG & E) owns and operates Pinecrest and Lyons Reservoirs, and the 15.7 mile Main Canal. In an agreement with PG & E, TUD receives its water supply from Lyons Reservoir through the Main Canal.
The District’s water supply still remains lower than average for this time of year. Effective March 1, 2012, the District requested voluntary water conservation (Phase II Water Conservation) measures for its customers and for all water customers to reduce water use. “There are some simple steps that our customers can do to limit their water use. One of the first steps to water conservation is to limit all outside watering and to check your drip systems and sprinkler systems for any type of leaks,” states Pete Kampa, TUD’s General Manager. For more water conservation information, please visit the TUD website at www.tudwater.com.
Typically, the Mother Lode region receives an ample amount of precipitation and snowfall in the month of March. The National Weather Service is still predicting a series of storms for the Tuolumne County area for the remainder of the month. “The District is keeping a close watch on Pinecrest and Lyons Reservoirs to monitor the water supply needed for the remaining year. Once March comes to an end and we know that there may be little precipitation predicted, the District will be able to estimate the water supply demand needed to make it through the summer months,” states Kampa, TUD General
The Tuolumne Utilities District currently serves over 44,000 Tuolumne County residents. The District currently owns and operates 15 water treatment plants, 81 treated water storage tanks, two wastewater treatment plants, approximately 57 miles of open ditches and 330 miles of treated water pipeline.