State Water Leaders Tour American River

AUBURN - Placer County’s water resources were at center stage Monday (May 21) as water industry leaders from across California gathered for a daylong tour of the American River watershed.

Sponsored by the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association (MCWRA) and co-sponsored by the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA), the event attracted 49 people, most of whom are directly involved in state water planning.

John Kingsbury, executive director of the MCWRA, said he organized the tour to show the importance of water in the foothill and mountain communities, especially at a time when water planners are seeking more water to solve downstream problems in the Delta.

“The Sierra Nevada watershed is of critical importance to our region and to the entire state,” said Kingsbury. “I wanted to create an opportunity to show our state decision-makers where we live, work and recreate.

“The state’s focus has been on the Delta,” he said. “I want to make sure that solving the Delta crisis does not redirect the crisis to the Sierra watershed.”

The bus tour departed from Cal-EPA in downtown Sacramento, stopping first at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery and then traveling to Beals Point at Folsom Lake, where the visitors were welcomed by Folsom Mayor Kerri Howell.

PCWA hosted a luncheon at the Auburn Recreation District (ARD) center off Maidu Avenue where speakers included Jennifer Montgomery, chair of the Placer County Board of Supervisors and Josh Huntsinger, Placer County Agricultural Commissioner. Both centered their remarks on the importance of good water supplies to local agriculture.

The afternoon included a visit to the PCWA American River Pump Station, where PCWA Director of Strategic Affairs Einar Maisch spoke of the local challenges of building a reliable water supply. Final stop was the North Fork-Middle Fork American River Confluence at Highway 49 where PCWA counsulting geologist Marie Davis and Resource Administrator Andy Fecko provided an overview of the agency’s resource management programs.

Participants in the tour represented a wide range of agencies including the state Department of Water Resources, state Water Resources Control Board, Delta Stewardship Council, Department of Fish & Game, Regional Water Authority, and several representatives of state and federal elected officials. Sponsors of the American River Watershed Tour included MCWRA, PCWA, The Water Forum and Tully & Young Comprehensive Water Planning.

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Contact: David A. Breninger (530) 823-4850 Or: Dave Carter (530) 265-NEWS