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EBMUD Postpones Decision on Buying Water, Implementing Surcharge

The East Bay Municipal Utility District is holding off on purchasing water. (Google Street View)

The East Bay Municipal Utility District is holding off on purchasing water. (Google Street View)

The East Bay Municipal Utility District has postponed a decision to implement a surcharge to fund purchases of water from the Freeport Regional Water Facility in Sacramento, thanks to December rains and conservation by customers.

Abby Figueroa, Senior Public Information Representative, told Action Alameda News that consideration of the plan, set for last month, “was postponed by staff and will be revisited in April. It was postponed because the amount of local runoff we received during December’s rainstorms filled our local reservoirs enough for now. Those reservoirs are where the purchased Sacramento River water would have been stored.”

She also said that water customers have continued to conserve water, and that district staff feel confident the utility “will get a sufficient allocation of water through our federal contract this March to allow us to purchase water later this year if needed.”

One of the considerations in the January decision was the district’s uncertainty that its 2015 federal water allocation would be enough, if the drought worsened; the federal water year ends on February 28.

Figueroa said the outlook for all federal water contractors is a bit better than previously thought.

The utility district, and water consumers, may get additional relief from a storm projected to blow through the Bay area tonight, tomorrow and through the weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a special weather alert, projecting rain in the North Bay Mountains in excess of 9 inches, in isolated spots, and as much as 1.5 to 3 inches in the far East Bay.

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