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Oakley City Council recently received reports on the city’s water services from representatives of the Contra Costa Water District and the Diablo Water District.

Connstance Holdaway, vice president of Contra Costa Water District’s Board of Directors, delivered a positive update on the agency’s water supplies with Los Vaqueros Reservoir at 94% of capacity and Lake Shasta at 119%. Recycled water accounts for 10% of the district’s usage. The main water source for the district is runoff from the western slope of the Sierras that drains into rivers that flow down to the Delta. The district draws it from the Delta with four pumping stations. The district’s main artery of delivery is the Contra Costa Water Canal, a 48-mile aqueduct built in 1937.

Due to the age of the canal, its exposure to contamination and its hazard to those who cross its fences, the district is working on modernizing the system by replacing the open-air canal with enclosed piping, a process now underway in a section along the Cypress corridor in eastern Oakley. Holdaway also noted the district recently was approved for $459 million in Proposition 1 funding for the expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir, pushing its capacity from 160,000 to 275,000 acre feet of water. Holdaway said the district expects construction to begin in 2020, depending on further studies, environmental reviews and permits.

Holdaway was followed by Dan Muelrath, general manager of the Diablo Water District, who reiterated the positive status of water supplies.

“The entire state is looking good,” Muelrath said.

He praised the district customers for reaching conservation goals posted during the recent drought. Daily usage has reached levels 20% lower than pre-drought rates. Diablo Water draws about 20% of its supply from groundwater wells, which Muelrath also called in good shape. He noted an ongoing water recycling project the district is working on with the Ironhouse Sanitary District, the moving of a water main near the new train station project and the debut of a new district website on July 1, www.diablowater.org. The new site will offer new online payment options, “almost real-time” usage reports and account information, he said.

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