Our local water boards are making crisis decisions about our future community: Stage 1 emergency, Stage 2, Stage 3, descending at rapid and unheard-of speed.

Pine Cove and Fern Valley are not listening to the clear guidance coming from the state of California. They are not listening to what’s best for our locality.

They are not considering realities such as current water levels and supply. They are justifying radical steps by misapplying state emergency rules.

On May 5, the state issued precise and simple guidelines for smaller districts with fewer than 3,000 customers.

Instead, we are trying to meet state guidelines for large cities and municipalities. The reasoning behind the May 5 rulings is obvious. We don’t draw from major rivers or aqueducts. We have local problems that require local solutions. Most importantly, we have for years been observing conservation practices the big cities are just starting to enact.

What can we do? Be informed. “New requirements for small water suppliers: Reduce water use by 25 percent, or limit outdoor irrigation to two days per week,” says the State Water Control Board.

Go to local board meetings. Ask questions and voice concerns. Pine Cove makes it hard for anyone who works, meeting mid-week, in the middle of the work day.

Register and vote. It’s easy and August will give us a few choices for new board members.

So, what are our options? Cut back 25 percent from 2013, by December, or limit outdoor watering to twice a week. One or the other must be done.

As for Pine Cove, for years, Jerry, staff and board have done an exemplary job on conservation. Jerry and board have boasted about community efforts and how conserving is a part of everyone’s lifestyle. Pine Cove is an example of what can be done statewide. To cut another 25 percent is a big problem and will require harsh rules and mandatory rationing.

That’s why I call it the road to nowhere. The state has given us another choice. Limit outdoor watering to two a week.

Pine Cove sits in a prestigious location for water. Our last snow-rain was greater than Big Bear. This May was the wettest in decades, and more is forecast to come. Low cost means rain-gathering techniques are being used statewide, approximating how snow melts, rejuvenating the groundwater supplies. Why are we jumping from stage to stage to stage? Just ask them.

Norm Cassen
Pine Cove