My Turn: Are we trying to thrive or survive?

October 13, 2016

My Turn: Are we trying to thrive or survive?

By: John Kingsbury, Executive Director
Mountain Counties Water Resources Association

 As California recovers from the drought, it is troubling that there is a push by certain interest groups to establish permanent water conservation regulations beyond this emergency. It seems like these groups are focused more on their ideology or political agenda than on the real impacts that such a permanent “state of emergency” will have on other people’s lives and livelihoods….

OPINION ARTICLE: Click link for more:

Letter on this subject to the State Water Resources Control Board click: water-conservation-swrcb-oct-2016


MCWRA appointed to serve on the California Water Plan Update 2018 (Update 2018) Policy Advisory Committee

October 11, 2016

In a letter from Mark Cowin, Director, Department of Water Resources, Mountain Counties Water Resources Association (MCWRA) executive director John Kingsbury has been appointed to serve as a member of the California Water Plan Update 2018 (Update 2018) Policy Advisory Committee.

The role of the Policy Advisory Committee (AC) is to provide broad, representative perspectives and advice to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) in preparing Update 2018.

Click link for a copy of the appointment letter and a list of all Policy AC members: jkingsbury-mwdsc

Northern California Water Association (NCWA) Fall Reception

October 11, 2016

To the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association membership:






The Northern California Water Association (NCWA) invites you to join them for a reception to celebrate the sacramento valley and its special farms, fish and wildlife

Thursday, October 20, 2016 4:00pm

Matchbook Winery in the Dunnigan Hills 12300 County Road 92B, Zamora

Click the following link to register:  ncwa-fall-2016-reception-invitation
















*Photos by Brian Baer & Ken Davis*

PCWA Partners on French Meadows Forest Resilence Project

September 7, 2016




Contact: Einar Maisch, General Manager – (530) 823-4860 or: Ross Branch, Public Affairs Manager –(530) 823-1937

AUBURN, Calif. (September 2, 2016) — In an effort to improve the health of the forests and watersheds that source Placer County Water Agency’s (PCWA) water supply, the Agency is partnering with the Tahoe National Forest, The Nature Conservancy, American River Conservancy, and the University of California, Sierra Nevada Research Institute on the French Meadows Forest Resilience Project. The PCWA Board of Directors authorized staff to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the other stakeholders at its meeting on September 1.

The aim of the French Meadows Forest Resilience Project is to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration in a critical municipal watershed, using an approach of ecologically-based forest management. The partner agencies will collaborate to develop project goals and direction, manage the project, contribute in-kind staff and expertise, and raise necessary funds. The project area sits upstream of PCWA’s French Meadows Reservoir, and includes land managed by the United States Forest Service and land owned by American River Conservancy.

“French Meadows is one of PCWA’s two major reservoirs,” General Manager Einar Maisch said. “Protecting this resource from catastrophic wildfire and the resulting watershed degradation is of upmost concern to the Agency. I believe this is an important partnership and important project.”

Forest conditions in the area are unhealthy and at risk of high-severity wildfire due to past management, fire suppression, and years of drought. Severe wildfires in recent years, downstream of the project area, have caused hundreds of thousands of tons of topsoil to erode into the river system, clogging infrastructure and habitat, and affecting the stability of the watershed. Through this innovative partnership, the agencies hope to prevent these negative effects of wildfire and create a new model for advancing the pace and scale of forest and watershed restoration in the Sierra Nevada and across the western United States.

In addition to improving resiliency to wildfire on public and private lands around French Meadows Reservoir, the project will monitor the hydrologic effects of prescribed forest treatments, and a research component will study the relationship between forest thinning and downstream water supply.

At this early stage, the MOU does not bind any party to specific commitments, financial or otherwise, but rather formalizes the collaborative relationship.

2016 Water Discussion with the Five Delta Counties

August 31, 2016

The Counties of Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, and Yolo invite California County leaders to a roundtable discussion on water. Come share what’s happening in your region and hear how other regions are addressing critical water needs. We expect representation from the North State, Central Valley, Mountain Counties, Bay Area, Central Coast, and Southern California. This is an opportunity to network with your colleagues throughout the State and to learn about regional water issues.

Date:  Friday, September 16, 2016 from 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Location:  Capitol Events Center – 1020 11th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Coffee, pastries, and lunch will be provided.

Register here. (There is no charge to attend this event.)

Amador Water Agency Dedicates New Hydroelectric Generation Plant

August 30, 2016

AWA Dedicates New Hydroelectric Generation Plant
AWA logo transparent copy (2)



Contact:   Gene Mancebo, General Manager
Amador Water Agency, 209-223-3018

 August 30, 2016
PHOTO BELOW: Amador Water Agency Directors, staff, county supervisors and construction contractors gathered at AWA headquarters in Sutter Creek to dedicate a new hydroelectric generating plant designed to reduce AWA power bills. The small turbine is attached to a large pipeline and generates up to 580,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity annually – more than enough to power the AWA water treatment plant and adjacent offices and maintenance facility.
(Sutter Creek)  Amador Water Agency Directors Thursday lit up an electric light display and cut the ceremonial ribbon to dedicate a new hydroelectric generation plant at AWA headquarters. Electricity produced will offset power bills at the Amador Water Agency headquarters and generate additional revenue.
“This project will save the Agency an estimated $4 million in electricity costs over 30 years, helping us keep costs down for ratepayers,” said AWA Board President Robert Manassero. California electricity prices have increased 6 – 8% annually — more than 45 percent — since 2000.
A small turbine is attached to a large Water Agency pipeline carrying raw water from Lake Tabeaud to the Tanner Water Treatment plant on Ridge Road in Sutter Hill.
 The turbine uses the pipeline water flow and excess pressure at the water treatment plant to generate up to 580,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity annually – more than enough to power the AWA water treatment plant and adjacent offices and maintenance facility.
Running the turbine will have no impact on the quantity or quality of the water used to power the generator. By switching to a “green” power source, the Agency will avoid producing the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions as 33 households in a year.
Construction costs were funded by a $1.45 million loan from the County of Amador and will be repaid by power cost savings and rebates. The project also qualified for a $134,000 state grant.
AWA acted as the Construction Manager on the project; Campbell Construction of Sutter Creek was the contractor. Project design and construction oversight was provided by NLine Energy Inc., a renewable energy development company headquartered in El Dorado Hills.
 # # #
AWA Hydro Facility Project

Early Fire Burns 65 Acres near the Cherry Lake Road Area of Groveland, CA

August 29, 2016

Date: August 29, 2016

News Release

U.S. Forest Service
Pacific Southwest Region
Stanislaus National Forest
19777 Greenley Road
Sonora, CA 95370
Voice: 209-532-3671

Contact: Clare Long


SONORA, California, August 22, 2016 – The Early Fire has burned 65 acres near Early Intake on the Cherry Lake Road area near the Preston Falls Trailhead in an old Rim Fire burn scar area. Crews are working through the night to gain containment. The fire is currently 10% contained and forward progression of the fire has stopped.

Read more from the US Forest Service on the fire:Early Fire

California Water Commission – Revised Staff Draft Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP) Regulations Available

August 29, 2016

Revised staff draft regulations for the WSIP were released on August 29, 2016. Also available are documents that will be incorporated by reference, including the Draft Technical Reference Document.


Frogs get designated habitat

August 28, 2016

Mokelumne Wilderness Wildfire Being Managed for Resource Benefits

August 22, 2016

U.S. Forest Service
Pacific Southwest Region
Stanislaus National Forest
19777 Greenley Road
Sonora, CA 95370
Voice: 209-532-3671

News Release

Contact: Clare Long
209-532-3671, ext 438
Date: August 22, 2016

SONORA, California,  August 22, 2016 – Firefighters from the Stanislaus National Forest are managing the Mokelumne Fire for multiple objectives including allowing fire to function in its natural role while also suppressing the fire where safe to do so.

The Mokelumne Fire was caused by a lighting strike and started on August 19, 2016, in a remote area of the Mokelumne Wilderness on the Stanislaus National Forest. This slow-moving 147-acre fire is burning brush and trees in steep, rugged country with granite cliffs and outcroppings. This makes firefighting on the ground difficult and a concern for the safety of the firefighters. There are 34 personnel including one 10-person crew and a helicopter with the capacity to drop water currently assigned to this incident. Firefighters are using control strategies to manage the impacts and promote the ecological benefits.

Wildland Fire Managers have the option to manage naturally-ignited fires to achieve resource benefits where fire is a major component of the ecosystem and where specific pre-stated objectives can be accomplished. This fire will reduce accumulated forest litter and fuels, maintain fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, increase firefighter and public safety, and protect cultural resources and wildlife habitat. The goal of managing this fire is to allow fire to resume its natural role in the ecosystem.

Acting Forest Fire Management Officer, Rob Laeng says “Lightning fires are a natural occurrence and play a vital role in shaping this fire-dependent ecosystem.  By managing this fire for resource benefit we can ensure a healthier, more diverse and natural forest where future fires will burn with less intensity.”

Over the next few weeks there will be smoke and reduced visibility in this area and the public is advised to avoid the area of the Mokelumne Wilderness north of Frog Lake near the Mokelumne River. Forest managers are working with state air quality monitoring services to monitor air quality impacts in the area.

For more information about the Mokelumne Fire contact: Fire Information line at 209-272-5455 or visit, or facebook at

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.



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