Roughly 3 million people across California lost utility-provided electrical power by late October 2019 as new regulations by the California Public Utilities Commission authorized energy companies to turn off power to avoid or reduce the risk of wildfires. At one point, more than 60 of Cal Water stations were without electrical power simultaneously. Despite all of these power shutoffs, Cal Water customers never lost water service.
“Cal Water worked closely with local fire agencies and energy companies to keep water flowing,” said Martin Kropelnicki, President and CEO, California Water Service Group. “Our team worked tirelessly to prepare for and respond to these shutoffs.”
Leading up to the power shutoffs, Cal Water purchased and staged equipment, developed operational procedures, and conducted extensive training. When the shutoffs were announced, the utility activated Emergency Response Centers and deployed operational, engineering, water quality, and other experts and resources statewide, including portable generators, booster pumps, and emergency trailers.
Cal Water also provided its customers with important updates about the water system and their water service through calls, texts, and emails, using customer contact information on file. This web site as well as social media channels (@CalWater) kept the community and local news media informed of any important updates.
“These shutoffs will continue to challenge all water utilities, and we are committed to doing everything we can to provide our customers with reliable water service for every day and emergency needs,” said Kropelnicki.
For more information on the additional steps Cal Water has taken to ensure regular, reliable water service, or to find out how you can best prepare in the event of a power shutoff, please visit the PSPS FAQ.