By JP Crumrine
While its wells may be slowly recovering, the Pine Cove Water District has seen its reserves climb this winter.
At the board’s March 8 meeting, General Manager Jerry Holldber proudly noted that since December, cash has increased about $70,000 to $270,000 at the end of February.
While the groundwater level for some of its wells has begun to rise, static well (no. 10) remained at 150 feet below ground level.
“Give it time. I estimate around May or June we’ll see it rise,” Holldber told the board. “Throughout the summer, I believe it will rise 30 to 40 feet over the next six to eight months.”
When asked it the district might be able to reduce its water emergency stage from 2 to 1, Holldber replied that Gov. Jerry Brown’s guidelines still require mandatory conservation.
Although PCWD is in a Stage 2 water emergency, Holldber emphasized “… we’re not penalizing the people. We still charge Stage 1 [water] rates.”
President Robert Hewitt added, “I expected to pull out of Stage 2, but apparently that’s not a choice for us.”
In February, PCWD customers used about 2 million gallons of water, which was 110,000 gallons less than February 2016. This also is about 500,000 gallons less than February 2013, the baseline month for the State Water Resources Control Board’s monitoring of water savings.
Inspection of the PCWD’s storage tanks has been completed, Holldber told the board. He plans to develop a plan to implement any needed repairs during fiscal year 2017-18.
Also, Ordinance 9, which sets water policy, is still being revised. A draft ordinance may be distributed to the board and the public in the next month, according to Hewitt.
The Board unanimously approved Resolution 521 setting June 14 as the date for a public hearing on stand-by fees for next fiscal year, which begins July 1. There are no changes in the rates, which have been $30 per acre for many years, Holldber said.