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Town of Paskenta Faces Major Water Crisis

Residents in the town of Paskenta have expressed their concerns of fire danger due to new reports of extremely low water levels in the town.

Posted: Sep 5, 2018 12:09 PM

PASKENTA, Calif. - Twenty miles outside the town of Corning sits the town of Paskenta, which is facing a massive water shortage requiring residents in the area to save every drop.

One of the causes is that the town’s main water source, a creek running through the middle of the town, has completely dried up. 

"As you saw the creek is pretty much dried," said Water District Secretary Janet Zornig. "We have been trying to retrieve water from the creek every day.”

To help offset the water shortage the water district started trucking in water from Corning with funding from the State Water Resource Board, but as of last Friday, August 31, that funding ran out. 

The district is now attempting to get more funding from the State Water Resource Board to continue trucking in water from Corning via Tehama transport, however, as of 4:45 p.m. on Sept. 4, they have not been granted more funding for hauled water. 

Funding will help the conservation efforts in the short term, but the town still faces a water crisis without the creek being replenished by rain eventually.

"Without it [rain or new water transportation] I don’t know what would happen to this community,” Zornig said. 

According to most recent updates from the Paskenta Community Services District, the level in the water storage take is at 15.6 feet as of 9:20 p.m. on Sept. 4. 

The people in the town are no strangers to conservation during the state wide drought. In 2014 and 2015, residents got creative in conservation and now that the town is facing the issue again they are conserving as much as they can.

Some residents have even taken to trucking in their own water from outside areas via their trucks with large water containers in the back.

This area also has a lot of farms with livestock that need as much water as possible for safety during the hot summer months.

Residents have been told that they need to truck water in themselves for outside water usage including water for live stock.

Zornig said that residents are also concerned about fire danger, but local fire stations have water tankers filled up in case of an emergency. 

Overall, Zornig and residents of Paskenta are worried that the town will completely run out of the water in the coming weeks if the creek remains dry and there is no funding to bring in water from outside areas. 

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A fire weather watch has been issued from 1pm Monday to 11am Wednesday in the Valley and foothills due to dry and gusty conditions. We'll warm up next week but next weekend is looking much much cooler and wet.
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