Our water company’s Mandatory Conservation Program river bypass level changed today, June 1. From now until November 15, river flows greater than 4 cubic feet per second put us into Voluntary Conservation.
Normally, this means that customers have no official restrictions on their water use (i.e., conserving is voluntary rather than mandatory) and they can return to washing their cars, power washing the exterior of their house, and irrigating however they wish.
However, things are not so simple anymore because of the drought. Even when our customers are under Voluntary Conservation, California statewide restrictions are still in place and must be followed.
All customers received a detailed billing insert in April containing information about these statewide restrictions. It is important to remember that fines of up to $500/day are possible if these customers violate any of these restricted water uses.
The following water use activities are not allowed as ordered by the State:
1. Watering outdoor landscapes that causes water to “runoff” onto adjacent property, nonirrigated areas, private/public walkways, roadways, parking lots, etc.
2. Washing a vehicle, with a hose without a shut-off nozzle or other device that will immediately stop the flow of water when not in use.
3. Using drinking water to wash driveways and sidewalks.
4. Using drinking water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, except where the water is recirculated.
5. No irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation.
6. Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request.
7. Hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily and prominently display notice of this option.
8. Customers will be informed by their water utility when the utility is aware of leaks that are within the customer’s control.
9. The State has imposed water company-specific restrictions. For North Gualala Water, that means irrigating of ornamental landscaping and turf is limited to only 2 days per week.
We understand that this is a confusing mix Mandatory/Voluntary Conservation Program restrictions and State restrictions–please feel free to call the office with any questions.
Thank you for conserving!
On May 7, 2015, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a new Resolution (W-5041) for all investor-owned water utilities to work toward achieving a statewide 25% reduction in potable water use, effective June 1. This Resolution reflects the regulations in the State Water Resource Commissions (SWRCB) Resolution 2015-0031, which imposed restrictions for public water companies.
North Gualala Water Company is already in compliance with the pertinent restrictions in W-5041 through our Schedule 14.1 “Mandatory Conservation” tariff. We will report water production to the SWRCB, as required, in December 2015.
Thank you for doing your part in conserving our state’s water.
If you have any questions, please contact the office.
The California Public Utilities Commission’s Resolution W-5034 requires that all customers receive a monthly billing notification about the adopted restrictions through February 28, 2016. This will appear as an insert or message on your monthly bill.
You can view the April billing insert here.
For background information on this resolution, see our previous post.
On April 1, 2015 Governor Brown issued an Executive Order (B-2915) to address the extreme drought conditions in California. He directed the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB, which directly oversees all publicly owned utilities) to impose urban water use restrictions by 25% compared to 2013 and created a proposal for water use restrictions across the state. North Gualala Water Company is privately owned and is therefore under direct control of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The Executive Order requested that the CPUC impose the same restrictions on privately-owned utilities.
On April 9, 2015 CPUC approved Resolution W-5034, ordering all water utilities under its jurisdiction to comply with the SWRCB emergency regulations once they are approved.
The SWRCB’s proposed restrictions would be based on each water company’s 2013 water use. We submitted comments on the proposal to the SWRCB on April 13, 2015 to advocate for our rate payers and their substantial conservation efforts over the last few years–beginning well before 2013–and the restrictions in our existing conservation plans. We made suggestions that would better serve our customers and the State’s goal of reduced water consumption. Our concern was that the State would be putting undue hardship on our already water-conserving community. For example, our residential ratepayers reduced their daily use by 27% between 2008-2013. The proposal initially called for an additional 25% reduction since 2013, which would require our customers to use no more than about 29 gallons daily per person.
On April 18, 2015 the SWRCB released a second draft of its proposal, having taken into account many of the concerns and suggestions from the 250 comments it received. We are pleased to see that the proposal is now more flexible for small suppliers like NGWC. If this proposal is adopted, then NGWC could reduce its district-wide water consumption by 25% relative to our 2013 use or limit outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscape and turf to just two days per week. Because we already have Mandatory and Voluntary Water Conservation Programs in place that meet this latter requirement, our ratepayers would not be burdened by additional restrictions. It is important to remember, however, that the SWRCB restrictions are not yet approved and further changes to the regulation might occur. (Also recall that our Conservation Programs were not imposed due to drought but rather due to water source issues).
Customers will be receiving information about these new state-wide emergency regulations through a variety of means: monthly billing inserts, the Independent Coast Observer newspaper, our Facebook page, and posts on this website. Stay tuned for finalized regulations and how it will affect your household. As always, thank you for conserving!
If you have any questions please feel free to call the office at 707-884-3579.
The North Fork of the Gualala River has swelled over the last couple of days due to the recent rain storms. River flows are now above the bypass requirement of 41 cubic feet per second (see here), which means that the district is back under Voluntary Water Conservation measures.
Customers are being notified of the change by automated phone call on Monday, February 9, 2015.
Thanks for your conservation efforts, everyone!
The North Fork of the Gualala River has swelled over the last couple of days due to the recent rain storm. River flows are now above the bypass requirement of 41 cubic feet per second (see here), which means that the district is back under Voluntary Water Conservation measures.
Please call the office if you have any questions.