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Why is Folsom Reservoir so low?
California is effectively in a drought due to two years of persistently dry weather conditions. As a result most of California’s reservoirs are at lows that haven’t been seen in decades. As of January 14, 2014, Folsom Reservoir is at 17 percent capacity.
Why is water being released from Folsom Reservoir?
Folsom Reservoir is a multi-use facility that not only serves drinking water, but also acts as a flood protection facility, a cold water source for endangered fish in the Lower American River and used as a responder for water quality needs in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.

The combination of historic dry conditions causing a dramatic reduction in precipitation/snow pack, coupled with legally required releases for water quality and fish species, the lake is experiencing extremely low conditions. To help keep more water in the reservoir for water supply, the cities of Folsom and Roseville; and the San Juan Water District petitioned the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to “dial down” the amount of water being released to arrest the dropping lake level. Reclamation proceeded to lower water releases the week of January 6 and it now releasing reduced levels while attempting to manage threatened and endangered species and balance water supply needs given the conditions. As a result, the American River is at very low levels.
Why are the wells being turned on?
To preserve our water supply in Folsom Reservoir and to try to manage the limited supply we have, it was determined that the back-up groundwater wells should be activated. This will help preserve our Folsom Reservoir water supply and hopefully mitigate the extent to which a mandatory water use reduction would be elevated.
When will the wells be turned on?
The wells will be turned on during the week of January 27, 2014, with a notice given via a mass telephone message from the City of Roseville targeted to the areas in Roseville that may likely experience groundwater. The City of Roseville is also doing targeted, specialized outreach to neighborhood leaders, the business community and specialized facilities that may be sensitive to water characteristics.
What wells are being turned on and what areas are going to get groundwater served to them?
Roseville maintains four groundwater wells to address these types of circumstances. Areas that will receive this water are primarily in western and southern parts of Roseville but based on demands and the highly networked distribution system it may expand beyond these areas.
Is the groundwater served to us safe to drink?
Yes, the groundwater is tested as required by state and federal law, meets all drinking water regulatory requirements, and is safe to drink and use as you normally would. Some may notice a difference in the taste of the water since it is harder than the surface water you are normally served. Additionally, you may notice water spots on your shower, toilet and other water fixtures due to harder water. But again, it is safe to drink and use.

Water quality information can be found at roseville.ca.us/eu/water_utility/water_quality.asp. For specific questions on water quality, please have the customer speak with Cathy Lee at (916) 746-1703.
Will the City of Roseville notify us when we are back on water from Folsom Reservoir?
Yes, the City of Roseville will close the loop with its water customers and notify them when they are back on surface water.
What is Roseville doing to get residents and businesses to reduce their water use?
The City of Roseville is calling for a voluntary 20 percent reduction in water use by its residents and businesses. The call for the voluntary water use reduction comes during an unprecedented period of dry conditions that have significantly depleted the water available from Folsom Reservoir, Roseville's main water supply. To help with the voluntary 20 percent water use reduction, the City of Roseville is offering these water efficiency tips:
  1. Residents and businesses should monitor water use on their utility bill. An easy way to do this is to sign up for the city’s Water Insight online program at roseville.waterinsight.com.
  2. Reduce irrigation – shut off outdoor irrigation and only water if landscape becomes stressed.
  3. Sign up for a Water Wise House Call or Water Wise Business Call by calling 774-5761 or online at roseville.ca.us/housecall. We can assist customers in identifying leaks, setting irrigation timers and generally helping them make their home or business more water efficient.
  4. Report water waste at roseville.ca.us/waterwaste or call 774-5761. 5. Go to roseville.ca.us/savewater for more tips.
Can water customers install water softeners in their homes?
Although the city cannot recommend a specific brand of water softener to use, water softener units that are serviced by outside services as opposed to on-site generation systems create less salinity impacts on the city’s wastewater system and recycled water. On site generation systems discharge salts into the wastewater system, where serviced systems take the resulting salts and dispose of them outside of the city’s wastewater system. Salinity discharged into the wastewater systems create treatment challenges and introduce salts to landscaped areas serviced by recycled water like golf courses, medians and parks.

If you decide to move forward with installing a water softener system, such systems may require a permit from the City of Roseville before they are installed. Please call (916) 774-5332 for more information on permits.

Additionally, customers on low-sodium diets or related restrictions should consult their doctor before having a water softener installed in your home.
How do you measure a 20 percent reduction against my water use?
Customers should look at their month to date number from the previous year in their utility bill and strive to reduce their water use by the prescribed percentage. Tips on how to reduce water use can be found at roseville.ca.us/savewater. Customers can also call 774-5761 for help to reach the prescribed water use reduction percentage.
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