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El Nino, everybody’s favorite weather pattern, is making a welcome visit to the north state and a rainy start to the month of March has Shasta Lake up to 81 percent of capacity and rising. Rivers are running high and a joy has started to spread across the parched land.
So we can go back to 30-minute showers and watering lawns willy-nilly, right? The short answer, from Redding Public Works Director Brian Crane: no.
The Redding City Council on Tuesday voted 4-1 to accept Crane’s recommendation to continue the city’s water shortage contingency through October at least. The vote keeps the city in agreement with the California Water Resources Control Board, which has mandated continued conservation efforts statewide.
In Redding, that means no outdoor watering within 48 hours of rainfall; no hosing down sidewalks or driveways; and outdoor irrigation a maximum of three days a week, with sprinklers operating between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. only.
On the bright side, Crane said the city expects to receive its full allocation of Central Valley Project water as outlined in contracts with the Bureau of Reclamation. “But we don’t see conservation going away,” Crane said.
Last year, Redding water customers reduced their water consumption by 27.1 percent (compared with 2013), which was better than the statewide average of 24 percent but short of the 36 percent reduction the state asked for. For the upcoming season, due to Redding’s severe climate, the state lowered its conservation goal to 33 percent.
The council’s vote also gave city staff the authority to again negotiate transfers of water to other districts, including the Bella Vista Water District. In the past, the city has served as a middle man and transferred water between the McConnell Foundation and other districts. Councilman Gary Cadd cast the dissenting vote on Tuesday, saying he’d like all transfer deals to come before the council.
In other action Tuesday, the council:
Homeless Continuum of Care
–Voted 5-0 to approve an agreement with Northern Valley Catholic Social Service to oversee operation of the Redding/Shasta Homeless Continuum of Care on a short-term basis.
The Continuum of Care involves representatives from a variety of government agencies and non-profits in coordinating and funding a variety of services for the homeless. The NVCSS’s coordination duties will include preparing an annual application for federal funding and analyzing the Point-in-Time homeless census data.
The NVCSS agreement will be funded by a federal $20,000 Community Development Block Grant.
–Recognized University Preparatory High School’s Team One as the 2016 Redding Regional Science Bowl winners. The Science Bowl was coordinated by Redding Electric Utility and held Feb. 27 at Simpson University. Some 27 teams from 16 high schools competed.
U Prep’s Team One won the championship for the fourth straight year and earned an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Science Bowl April 28-May 2. Team members are Capt. Christopher Huebner, Melia Matthews, Beau Forest, Erick Blankenberg and Luke Blankenberg. Coaches are U Prep science teachers Cory Poole and Brian Murphy.