FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lisa Westbrook
November 17, 2014 Public Relations
(209) 532-5536, x501
SONORA, CA: Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) in Sonora has been contacted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a drought response outreach guide to help other water utilities nationwide to combat drought issues.
Starting this week, a specialized crew of Strategic Planners, Engineers, EPA coordinators and video producers will be filming in Tuolumne County to begin the process of building a drought resilience plan for other water utilities. “We were surprised and pleased when the EPA contacted us and asked to be part of this project. Tuolumne County and TUD have received a lot of attention on how we handled the drought in our area. Our proactive approach and the assistance by so many of our community partners has been noticed statewide and in other parts of the nation,” states Tom Scesa, General Manager.
The drought response project will span two days, Wednesday, November 19th and Thursday, November 20th. During this time, the film crews will film on location at Pinecrest Lake, Lyons Reservoir and in Twain Harte near the Section 4 ditch. Community partners assisting with the video include interviews with:
Alvin Thoma, Director of Hydro Licensing – Pacific, Gas and Electric Company
Tom Trott, General Manager – Twain Harte Community Services District
Dore Bietz, Assistant Planner/Emergency Manager – Tuolumne Me-Wuk Tribal Council
Paul Avila, Division Chief, Tuolumne County Fire – Cal Fire
Mark Luster, Community Relations Manager, SPI
Tracie Riggs, OES Coordinator – County of Tuolumne
Richard Rauschmeier – Tuolumne County Master Gardeners
“Without the help and support of our community partners, the results of the drought would have been very different for us. We all pulled together to come up with the best solutions to help our county during this difficult time,” states Scesa. The EPA will meet with TUD staff to go over a drought management plan, how best to communicate with customers and District operational changes that were made during the drought.
Once the project is completed, the EPA hopes to have the video and drought resilience plan completed by the summer of 2015.