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Posted on: July 22, 2021

Local water providers urge water conservation in Yuba and Sutter Counties

Houseboats on a reservoir with low water levels.

Yuba Water Agency and local water providers are urging residents to conserve water as drought conditions deepen throughout the region.


“Yuba County is in a better position than many other parts of the state because of the availability of groundwater in our region, but we’re deeply concerned about the potential impacts of one more –  or multiple – dry years ahead,” said Willie Whittlesey, Yuba Water’s general manager.


The drought is already impacting local irrigators and businesses, domestic well owners and the environment, Whittlesey said. A lack of water also threatens the region’s ability to fight wildfire, especially in the foothills, where wildfire risk is extreme this summer.


According to the agencies, eliminating or scaling back lawn watering and intentionally watering early in the morning instead of during the day to reduce evaporation can save thousands of gallons of water a day. One lawn watering alone is roughly equal to flushing a toilet 159 times.


Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, shaving or doing dishes, defrosting food in the fridge instead of running water under the sink and shortening showers to less than five minutes are also easy ways to reduce residential water use immediately.


“This is an all-hands-on-deck situation, and we all need to save what we can right now,” said John Tillotson, general manager of Olivehurst Public Utility District. “Everyone’s individual efforts can collectively make a huge difference.”


Yuba City is also very interested in getting the same conservation message to their residents. 


“It doesn’t matter whether you live in a rural area or the suburbs, the valley or the foothills, there are so many simple things we can all do,” said Diana Langley, public works director for Yuba City. “We are very concerned about the impacts of lingering drought, and we need to make these conservation tips a way of life, right now.”


Additional water-saving tips and resources developed by Yuba Water, Yuba County, California Water Service, Olivehurst Public Utility District, Linda County Water District, the City of Wheatland, Browns Valley Irrigation District, North Yuba Water District and the City of Yuba City are available at yubawater.org. Residents are also encouraged to contact their local water provider for additional resources or tips.


The water agencies are partnering on this collaborative messaging effort to ensure everyone in the region is getting the same, consistent information about the drought and the urgent need to conserve. 


Although Yuba Water is not a residential water provider, the agency works with Yuba County farmers and irrigators and local, state and federal agencies to sustainably manage the region’s groundwater and surface water resources and to reduce flood risk. The agency owns and operates New Bullards Bar Dam and Reservoir and uses revenue from hydroelectric power generation to invest in local projects that align with the agency’s core mission areas, with a goal of improving the quality of life for the people of Yuba County. 


Learn more about how to conserve water.

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