PG&E may turn off electricity when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted

The Scotts Valley Water District (SVWD) announced that the District has taken important steps to prepare for the possibility of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) by PG&E this fall.

PG&E may turn off electricity in designated areas as a precautionary measure when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted, such as high winds, low humidity and dry conditions. A loss of power can affect the District’s ability to reliably provide water to customers.

A PSPS event could require SVWD to switch to backup power at its three treatment facilities and use portable generators at pump stations and other sites to continue water delivery, keep water distribution lines pressurized, maintain storage and provide adequate fire flows.

“We are working with PG&E to ensure the District receives as much advance notice as possible to prepare and initiate a response,” District Manager Piret Harmon said.

PSPS is focused on high fire-threat areas and conditions: the power outages could affect any of the District’s facilities and last several hours or multiple days, depending on weather conditions and power restoration efforts.

The District has nine pump stations that require power to pump water to higher elevations. Providing auxiliary power to these stations to fill water tanks when a PSPS is issued is a top priority for the District, according to Harmon.

“We are planning for how to continue providing water to customers during a precautionary outage,” Harmon said.

PSPS events may occur throughout Northern California, and other water agencies have made or are working on similar preparations.

Read more about PSPS and the District’s efforts to prepare here:


Scotts Valley Water District is a public agency providing water service over six square miles including most of the City of Scotts Valley and a portion of the unincorporated areas north of the city limits. The community of Scotts Valley places a high value on livability, innovation and planning for the future. Scotts Valley Water District is proud to play a vital role in supporting those efforts by providing a reliable, sustainable, high-quality water supply. Through partnership with our community, strategic investment in resources and pursuit of new ideas, Scotts Valley Water District is redefining its historic role in order to meet future challenges and turn them into opportunities. Learn more at, or on Instagram:  @scottsvalleywaterdistrict.