The department's Dave Brent says the rented pumps are being installed in case the river depth drops below the 12 feet required for the city's largest pumps to operate.
"There's a design in a pump where it needs a certain water surface elevation over the top of it," says Brent. "If you get below that point, it can start cavitating which is basically drawing air in with the water and that can damage the pumps."
Brent says with Folsom Lake at historically-low levels the City will try to use as little American River water as possible.
But, the backup pumps will be ready to draw 24-million gallons-a-day if needed.
The Sacramento River pumping station is offline until March.
The city plans to have 13 million gallons per day of well water available once maintenance is complete on some city wells in the middle of February.
"The ground water in the area and in city itself is healthy," Brent says. "We've done, over the years, what we call conjunctive use, so in those wetter years, we try to utilize the river more and let the groundwater recharge. Now we're going to be more reliant on ground water."
Brent says well water could contribute 13 million gallons a day to the city supply. The Sacramento River station is expected to provide ten times that -the vast majority of the water needed this summer.
Cal Fire and U.S. Forest Service crews are working in steep terrain to contain the Trailhead Fire in Placer and El Dorado counties. The fire had grown to 2,551 acres Friday and was 12 percent contained.
Forecasters say the threat of wildfires will remain high in Southern California and the Southwest in July and August because of persistent drought and because summer rains may not be as consistent as usual.
Fire restrictions are in effect on U.S. Forest Service lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Officials say illegal and unattended campfires cause over 90 percent of wildfires within the Lake Tahoe Basin.
The drought in California, in its fifth consecutive year, has created conditions ripe for wildfires. The National Interagency Fire Center predicts "above normal" fire potential through September for portions of California, Nevada and Idaho.
A new report shows there are certain highways in California that are "hot spots" for wildlife-vehicle collisions.