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With the state in its third year of drought, it's hard to understand that Rancho Murieta's reservoirs will be full this year, just as they were last year. The Community Services District explained that in a letter mailed to ratepayers last week, but a letter from the state Water Resources Control Board has raised questions. Media reports characterize the letter as a warning that rights to divert water could be curtailed.

"If you read the letter, it's mainly focused on ranchers and farmers," CSD General Manager Ed Crouse said of the water agency's letter, following a report in the Bee Tuesday. "We get letters like this, maybe not as blunt, but every year they make a forecast....

"We don't have any state or federal water, so it really doesn't impact us....

"They're just saying even though you think you have a water right that says you're guaranteed x amount of water, there's only enough water in the river regardless of how much water you think you can take. ... Typically the issues they're dealing with are summer, late summer and fall irrigation. ... We don't divert during the critical times when they're putting people on notice."


Lake Chesbro is one of the reservoirs that will be full this year.  (2000 file photo)

The community's water rights allow the CSD to pump water from the Cosumnes River between November and the end of May once river flows reach certain levels. The rights allow water to be stored in the Calero, Chesbro and Clementia reservoirs.

Drought conditions occur when river flows don't reach the threshold for pumping during the diversion season. Although the past few years have been dry, there were still opportunities to divert water.     

Commenting on the wet season diversion, Crouse said, "That's the beauty of our water right. It takes surplus water that's flowing out to the ocean. That's why they gave us this water right. When you talk to environmentalists and the Fishery Foundation and Nature Conservancy, they really like our water permit. ... There's a timing constraint, a volume constraint, and it doesn't impact the salmon on the river."

The diversion and storage plans were designed to accommodate build-out of the community. At the present time, Lake Calero supplies the community's domestic water needs.



Candy Chand's picture
Joined: 08/15/2007
Posts: 304
Post rating: 811



According to CSD,  the drought doesn't apply to Murieta. And now, the letter sent to CSD doesn't apply to us either.   Maybe we need to consider taking our future water from De Nial.


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