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Placer County Set To Declare Water Emergency

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(Auburn, CA)
Monday, May 9, 2011

Placer County's water troubles started about three weeks ago when Bear River Canal, which is owned by Pacific Gas and Electric, was damaged in a landslide.  The canal is the primary source of water for the county. 

Joe Parker is the financial director for the Placer County Water Association. 

He says Placer County is expecting to pay one million dollars a month during the summer to pump water uphill from the American River. The agency usually spends about half of that in an entire year on water.

"That would be part of the costs that we would be looking at as far as can we get some type of support either through emergency actions through the state and county."

Earlene Eisley-Freeman helps run Eisley Nurseries in downtown Auburn.  She says the nursery is only getting water every other day.      
"We have a big water storage tank here.  So we're filling it whenever we can.  Whenever we run out of what we call our ditch water, or canal water, we have to turn on our city water."
Eisley says city water is far more expensive than the untreated canal water.  And like many other agricultural businesses, the cost of the water shortage is cutting into the nursery's profits at the busiest time of the year. 
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