As Tehama County Environmental Health Agency continues to receive reports of domestic wells going dry in the county due to the ongoing drought conditions, the county's Board of Supervisors approved on Tuesday an emergency resolution allowing county residents to purchase potable water from the county.

The resolution is for emergency residential water usage purchases accessible from the county well at Mill Creek Park in Los Molinos at this time, subject to review, said Tehama County Chief Administrator Bill Goodwin.

He said the problem was brought to his attention by Corning City Manger Kristina Miller who said the city adopted a policy allowing residents within a five mile radius of Corning to purchase water from the city if their well ran dry.

“She noted the county needs to take care of the people in the unincorporated area of the county,” Goodwin said. “I completely agree we need to find a better solution.”

He pointed out the details of the water policy are fluid right now and subject to change at any time.

Emergency residential water usage purchases program requirements at this time:

1. The program is for residential use only. Water shall not be made available for agriculture or livestock related uses.

2. Approved vendors/county residents with waiver and release forms approved by the County shall be issued a tag that must be visible from the back window of the transporting vehicle.

3. Vendors will be required to list the County as Additionally Insured. All customers of vendors must sign the waiver and release form prior to receiving County water. Each month, vendors must provide a log including residents name, address, phone number and total gallons per delivery.

4. Water shall only be provided to properties in the unincorporated areas of Tehama County.

5. Anyone caught stealing or falsifying documents will be immediately suspended form the program.

6. The program is a privilege, not a right, and can be revoked at any time for any reason. If the time comes that the program negatively affects the County or neighboring wells, the program will be terminated, without notice.

7. The price of water is $10 per every 1,000 gallons, plus a $25 monthly administration fee. A 2.5 percent late fee will be assessed for every invoice not paid within 30 days.

8. The program will be reviewed within 90 days from adoption and may be subject to modification, and/or cancellation at that time

Supervisor Bob Williams suggested the policy needs to address the liability of transport be on the customer as well.

The policy allows for smaller amounts of water, such as 50 gallons, to be available at no cost to residents in need.

“This water and policy is not in any form to be used for irrigation of cannabis,” said Goodwin. “We have heard talk of the abuse of this policy for that use. It will not be allowed.”

Details on the program are available online at tehamawater.org.

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