Placer River Held Hostage

Placer County faces a water shortage by 2004 if officials cannot come to an agreement on drawing water from the American River.
July 29, 2000, 6am PDT | California 2000
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The population growth of Placer County and surrounding communities have forced the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation into a delicate position, pressured on one side by state attorney general Bill Lockyer and environmentalists to close a certain tunnel on the American River and restore the river flow, and on the other, U.S. Rep. John Doolittle (R-Rocklin), who is pushing for the construction of the proposed Auburn dam. Doolittle is adamant about the construction of the dam, threatening the loss of federal funds if the tunnel is closed. However, Gov. Gray Davis has publicly supported the closing of the tunnel, creating additional political tension. The fate of the tunnel will determine where the water pump that will bolster Placer's supply is placed along the river. The water agency along with the Building Industry Association have teamed together to hire a former Democratic congressman to lobby on their behalf in efforts to break the standstill. The PCWA must start building an American River pump station by next year if it is to be completed by 2004, or it will have to make some tough decisions on how to meet water demand.

Thanks to California 2000 Project

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Published on Sunday, July 23, 2000 in The Sacramento Bee
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