Auburn, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2023) — The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) is pleased to report that its purchase of Weimar Water Company was approved on September 21, by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This consolidation means Weimar’s 550-plus customers will benefit from improved water supply reliability and more stable water rates.
In addition, the acquisition helps PCWA fulfill several long-range strategic goals, which will bring greater operating efficiencies that benefit existing customers.
PCWA initially announced the consolidation in February, following voluntary discussions with the owners of Weimar Water Company, an investor-owned utility. The commission’s approval allows PCWA to assume responsibility for operating and maintaining the Weimar water system.
“We are thrilled to welcome Weimar customers into our family, and we look forward to serving them,” said Robert Dugan, chair of the PCWA Board of Directors. “We have a long history of uniting small water systems in Placer County to improve service for all. With this latest consolidation effort, those benefits will accrue in particular to our existing customers in Alta, Applegate, Colfax, Dutch Flat and elsewhere in Central Placer County.”
Consolidation provides opportunities for small community water systems to connect — at their request — to larger adjacent water systems. There are dozens of small water systems in Placer County, and consolidation has become a more focused effort by PCWA as these small water providers struggle to keep up with increased regulatory requirements and the high cost of replacing aging infrastructure.
State regulators generally support such consolidations to enhance water supply reliability for rural water customers. PCWA first began consolidating small water systems on a voluntary basis 60 years ago to improve service for small communities in western Placer County.
The agreed purchase price for Weimar Water Company is $3.75 million, funded through PCWA’s agency wide reserves without impacting ratepayers. On June 29, The State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water approved PCWA’s acquisition of Weimar, another required step. The final closing date for the purchase is expected to be October 2.
The acquisition of the Weimar system reduces the amount of new infrastructure needed to support consolidation opportunities in the region and accelerates the ability to secure grant funding. Weimar’s location and infrastructure are an ideal hub for PCWA’s Colfax to Applegate Regionalization Program. This program aims to bring affordable, sustainable, and safe drinking water to underserved areas of the county.
The CPUC’s approval of the consolidation was unanimous, and no opposition emerged during the months-long review process.