Water Begins Flowing to the Coast Due to New County Program

Water has begun trickling from Ukiah to Fort Bragg, and the county’s main task going forward is to scale up hauling to meet demand.

The city of Fort Bragg announced Sept. 9 that it had received its first 5,000-gallon delivery of water from Ukiah and is expected to receive 10,000 gallons per day that will allow Fort Bragg to resume outside water sales after halting them in mid-July. The two certified water haulers on the coast can resume their water sales, too, which were put to a stop once Westport shut off outside water sales at the start of the month. Josh Metz, who was contracted by the county to help coordinate the drought response, told the countywide drought task force, also on Sept. 9, the process has been “set up to address both domestic and commercial needs with some price difference.”

City Approves Purchase of Desalination Unit

The Fort Bragg City Council’s special meeting on Monday went fairly quickly — all of 10 minutes — and unanimously approved the purchase of a desalination and reverse osmosis machine for no more than $335,818.50.

At the last city council meeting, city staff requested the council set aside $600,000 to pursue various options during this summer’s expected drought, including hurdles with sourcing and permitting.

The flow in the Noyo River, which is the city’s primary water source in summer and fall months, is at levels below the worst drought year on record, 1977.