Water from the Paradise Irrigation District could be delivered to faucets in Chico under a proposal going before the Butte County Board of Supervisors next week.
The Board is expected to approve money for a detailed study on connecting the two separate systems could be completed next year according to Paul Gosselin, Director of the county’s water and resource conservation agency.
The proposal accomplishes three goals. Groundwater aquifers from which the private utility California Water Service draws its supplies for Chico are being depleted. This would provide an alternative. Since November, the Paradise Irrigation District faces monumental rebuilding costs and since the fire, has had few customers.
The plan would inject cash into the district’s coffers. And, depending on the design, new pipelines could finally let the county tap water in Lake Oroville---water the county is entitled to, but hasn’t accessed.
“The Town of Paradise is going to get rebuilt, P.I.D. is going to service the community, but this system could allow other water to go through it and still supply CalWater Chico with surface water.” Gosselin said.
Gosselin estimated the system might take three to five years to build. Fire hydrants along the Skyway are part of the plan. As Paradise rebuilds and uses more of PID’s water, more water from Lake Oroville would serve Chico.