Eastern Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors on Wednesday unanimously voted to move the District into Stage 2 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan.
EMWD had previously been in Stage 1, which called for a voluntary 10 percent reduction in water use. Stage 2 asks for up to a voluntary 25 percent reduction in use, though EMWD’s Board on Wednesday asked for a 20 percent reduction.
The move helps put EMWD in line with Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for action during his January 17 drought declaration, when he asked all Californians for a voluntary 20 percent reduction in water usage to help the state deal with the drought.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — of which EMWD is a member agency — has also asked for a voluntary 20 percent reduction.
“While we are hopeful that we will not be placed in a position of enacting mandatory restrictions in 2014, we are asking our ratepayers to do their part to be efficient with their usage and to help us all conserve,” EMWD Board President Phil Paule said. “Every drop we conserve now will be available to us in the future.”
California suffered through one of its driest winters on record in 2013-14, and reservoir levels throughout the state are significantly below historical averages. Earlier this year, the California Department of Water Resources issued a zero-percent allocation from the State Water Project. It was the first time in history a zero-percent allocation has been issued.
As part of its Stage 2 enactment, EMWD’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan includes the following:
- Customers are asked to reduce outdoor irrigation by one day per week
- All leaks in a customer’s plumbing — including outdoor irrigation — must be repaired in a timely manner
- Refrain from filling or refilling ornamental lakes or ponds
- Refrain from using potable water to wash vehicles
Additionally, customers are asked to adhere to the continual guidelines of EMWD’s Water Conservation Code:
- Customers may only use automated irrigation
systems between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. and for no more than 15 minutes
- Watering during the rain is prohibited
- Customers may not water their driveway or other hard surfaces
- New turf may be installed for functional purposes only
- New landscaping must be done with drought-tolerant plants and trees
EMWD is also encouraging its customers to participate in a variety of conservation programs and rebates, many of which are done in partnership with The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Customers can receive rebates for the removal of turf grass, purchasing rain barrels or high-efficiency toilets. Customers can also participate in a Smart Controller Direct Install Program, which provides significant savings on weather-based irrigation controllers.
For more information on EMWD’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan, visit www.emwd.org/wscp.