Public Safety Power Shutoffs

Public Safety Power Shutoffs

Golden State Water Takes Proactive Approach to Limit Impact of Power Shutdowns on Water Service


Wildfires are now a year-round threat in California, and electric utilities throughout the state are proactively de-energizing their grids (Public Safety Power Shutoffs) as a measure to protect communities from danger when conditions present a heightened wildfire risk.

As a water provider that relies on power to operate our water systems, Golden State Water Company is investing approximately $10 million to install 31 power generators throughout the state to help safeguard against water service interruptions during Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events. These new power generators are being installed at key facilities to supplement and bolster our existing network of generators throughout Golden State Water’s systems to provide alternative power during PSPS power outages.

In the event of a PSPS, customers will be asked to limit water use for life-essential purposes. The water system may not remain fully operational during an extended outage, and the community’s conservation will help to ensure available water supplies can be directed to aide firefighting efforts.

What is a PSPS?

A Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) is a safety measure in which electric utilities may proactively de-energize portions of their power grid to protect the community from potential wildfire danger when conditions present a heightened risk. Some factors that could trigger a PSPS include Red Flag Warnings, forecasts of sustained gusts and winds, dry fuel conditions and low humidity. 

How Could a PSPS Impact Local Water Service?

Water providers like Golden State Water rely on electricity to power portions of our water infrastructure, including wells and booster pumps that are critical to deliver reliable water service to customers.

Our water systems typically rely on water storage tanks to provide water supply during short-term isolated power outages; however, a PSPS event can take out the entire power grid serving a water system and span multiple days before power is restored. Permanent generators with automatic startup switches located at key facilities will enhance Golden State Water ability to minimize water service impacts to the community during a PSPS event.

What Is Golden State Water Doing to Prepare for PSPSs?

Golden State Water is taking action to help safeguard against water service interruptions during an extended PSPS period. This includes:

Investing approximately $10 million to add an additional 31 power generators to an existing network of generators strategically located throughout our service areas to provide alternative power in the event of a power outage.

Establishing agreements with suppliers to ensure fuel will be available for generators, as needed, throughout a multi-day PSPS outage.

Working closely with local electric providers in our service areas to ensure we receive as much advance notice as possible prior to a PSPS, so we can prepare and initiate our response.

What Can I Do?

Before a PSPS

  • Ensure your contact information is up-to-date with Golden State Water and your local electric provider
  • Store an emergency supply of drinking water that could sustain your household for 3-5 days
  • Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies and other essentials

During a PSPS

  • Limit water use for life-essential purposes to help maintain supply for public health, sanitation and fire protection needs
  • Stay apprised of conditions by following your local news station, Golden State Water and your local electric provider for updates

After a PSPS

  • Prepare for the next PSPS and restock any depleted supplies
  • Reset your irrigation controller, as programming was likely lost during the outage
  • Check for updates from Golden State Water and your local electric provider