Gravity Supply Line

For many years our water has been pumped up from the Tiger Creek Afterbay. But this entailed considerable cost in electricity, and the pumps are very old and would need to be replaced, at great expense. We have always been concerned that a fire in the area might destroy these pumps just when water would be needed most for fire suppression. Hence the need for a water supply that is kept flowing only by the force of gravity.

Here is a map of the route for the GSL, courtesy of the Amador Water Agency.

We are pleased to announce that the GSL became operational in December 2015.

The Drought

Effective June 2016, the State of California has relaxed its water restrictions. From the State Water Resources Control Board:

“Recognizing persistent yet less severe drought conditions throughout California, on May 18, 2016, the State Water Board adopted an emergency water conservation regulation that replaces the February 2 emergency regulation. The May 2016 regulation that will be in effect from June 2016 through January 2017 requires locally developed conservation standards based upon each agency’s specific circumstances. It replaces the prior percentage reduction-based water conservation standard with a localized “stress test” approach. These standards require local water agencies to ensure a three-year supply assuming three more dry years like the ones the state experienced from 2012 to 2015. Water agencies that would face shortages under three additional dry years will be required to meet a conservation standard equal to the amount of shortage.”

New Water Legislation

On May 31, 2018, Gov. Brown signed legislation mandating statewide water efficiency standards. This legislation establishes an indoor, per person, average water use goal of 55 gallons per day beginning in 2022. In 2025, this goes to 52.5 gallons, and then 50 gallons beginning in 2030.

We would emphasize that this implies:
(1) Indoor usage only,
(2) Usage
per person in each household, and is
(3) Computed
as an average within each water district.

A 55 gallon per day limit means an average indoor water use of no more than 897 cubic feet of water for a two person household in a single bimonthly billing period. Most of our members already use less than this. Households with more people will be understood to require more water. This does not include outdoor usage, for watering lawns and gardens, etc.

The State does not mandate any penalty for individual members who exceed these levels. Contrary to what is being reported by fringe media outlets, no one will be facing a fine for showering and doing laundry on the same day.

Our board is looking into what this legislation requires of our association. Our preliminary assessment is that its effect may be easily manageable for us, particularly since many of our members live here only part time and so use very little water. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that we may have to adopt water conservation measures in the coming years.