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Local Water Agencies Preparing for Watershed Impacts due to the Carr, Delta and Hirz Wildfires

The District is working with neighboring water agencies and the State Division of Drinking Water to ensure safe drinking water for our customers throughout the upcoming rainy season. In addition, a regional plan is being developed to share available groundwater to minimize or eliminate the reliance on surface water sources that may be impacted this winter as a result of the wildfires.

Each winter, water agencies in the Redding area experience an increase in sediment flow into Whiskeytown Lake, Shasta Lake, and the Sacramento River. This summer’s devastating wildfires have burned a substantial portion of these watersheds.  Depending on rainfall intensity this winter, it is likely that surface water supplies will have an increase in ash and sediment load, and this could be more than our surface water treatment systems were originally designed to remove.

The District is prepared to reduce or suspend all surface water diversions this winter and use groundwater resources exclusively for all customers and help supply neighboring agencies through existing system interties to ensure safe drinking water is available throughout the region. Sacramento River water quality will be closely monitored throughout the winter and spring so that we can make informed decisions regarding the strategies that will ensure safe drinking water is always supplied to our customers.

A number of agencies are actively involved in efforts to minimize the impacts of erosion and sediment to surface waters.  For more information see the shastareddingrecovers.org website and click on the “Get Rain Ready” tab: https://stories.opengov.com/reddingca/published/bDZJVvdJK