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Newell facing severe water shortage
‘We’re losing water fast’
  Herald and News by LEE JUILLERAT June 11, 2015
     Restrictions on water use have been implemented by the Newell County Water District because one of the district’s wells is no longer able to pump water. “We’re losing water fast,” said Mike Whitney, the water district’s president. “We don’t know how long this is going to last.” Whitney said emergency funding is   being requested from the state and contacts have been made with the Modoc County Office of Emergency Services to provide tanker trucks with drinking water if the shortages continue. He said one of the district’s main wells is completely dry while another is at half-capacity.

   The district covers about 3 square miles in the Newell area south of Tulelake. According to Whitney, the district   has about 300 users during the winter and about 500 during the summer. The seasonal increase reflects the migrant workers camp.

   Whitney said water use at the Tulelake Airport has already been reduced. He plans to also contact the Newell offices for the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) and Modoc County Road Department to ask them to discontinue water use.

Emergency restrictions

   During emergency, he said restrictions call for eliminating watering lawns, washing vehicles and filling swimming pools. Some watering of gardens is permitted. He emphasized that people should keep bottled water available for drinking.

   Whitney said the current water shortages are more than extreme than in other previous years. He said it’s not known if the addition of private wells on neighboring farm lands has made an impact.

   A public meeting will be scheduled. People with questions should call the water office at 530-664-2267 or Whitney at 530-667-3221.




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