SCV NewsBreak | August 12, 2014: Mandatory Conservation Measures
Mandatory water conservation measures are likely to go into effect in Santa Clarita this week. Dirk Marks, CLWA Water Resources Manager explains in this video.
SCV Water Committee Approves Action Plan
New Watering Limits and Restrictions Designed to Comply with State Mandate In Effect
Santa Clarita Valley Water Committee members are taking steps to implement mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use for local customers — including a system of odd-even irrigation days — to comply with state mandates as the impacts of the multi-year statewide drought deepen. To facilitate compliance, the Committee voted Tuesday to approve an Action Plan for individual water suppliers to adopt and promote greater conservation.
“This drought is serious, and we’re all in this together,” said Steve Cole, SCV Water Committee Chair and General Manager of the Newhall County Water District. “We firmly believe residents and businesses are willing to do their part. Our job is to make sure all Valley water users have the tools and information to act. That’s the crux of this Action Plan.”
Cole added that the plan is rooted in education and facilitation, but that fines – starting at $50 per day per violation enforced by local water retailers – are a possibility for repeat offenders. However, the objective, Cole said, is to conserve water, not fine customers. Multiple violations could result in penalties of up to $500 per account per day.
“The bottom line is that we’re here for our residents and businesses,” said Cole. “We want to facilitate conservation and are continuing to proactively engage our customers to achieve this shared objective.”
Local water leaders said the Action Plan is intended to help the SCV continue to do its part to address the broader drought crisis.
“Many SCV water customers have done a pretty good job of conserving,” said Dan Masnada, General Manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency, the Valley’s wholesaler of water from the State Water Project, “and we remain proud of how well our diversified water supply portfolio and the sharing of groundwater supplies among water retailers has insulated the Valley against the impacts of drought thus far. However, this problem is much bigger than our community, and we have to do our part to conserve water and help California emerge from this crisis.”
State Regulations Are in Effect
The principal elements of the new local water restrictions are:
No outdoor use of potable water on landscapes in such a manner that it causes runoff to non-landscaped areas.
And, most notably, a new system of odd-even landscape watering days will be in effect. From April through October, odd-numbered addresses can water on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while even-numbered addresses get Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. During the colder months of November through March, odd addresses can water on Mondays and Thursdays, while even addresses can water on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Unlike the voluntary water conservation measures triggered by the SCV Water Committee’s water supply alert issued in February, these new restrictions are mandatory and enforceable.
“That’s a pretty big mental adjustment,” said Keith Abercrombie, General Manager of Valencia Water Co. “We think local residents do a pretty good job of monitoring their water use and generally refraining from wasteful actions, but with these new state mandates, people are required, not requested, to alter their landscape watering schedules and other activities.”
“It may seem like a pretty big inconvenience at first glance, but honestly most people overwater their landscapes, and a lot of the restrictions like refraining from hosing down a sidewalk are simple things we’ve already been asking people to do to avoid wasting an ever-increasingly valuable resource,” said Dirk Marks, CLWA’s Water Resource Manager.
The emergency regulations are in response to the July 15 decision by the State Water Resources Control Board to enact an emergency regulation for statewide urban water conservation. The emergency regulation remains in effect for 270 days and may be extended if drought conditions continue.
“Although the Valley’s water suppliers have done a great job in meeting local water demands, this drought is one of the worst we’ve experienced in California,” said Mauricio Guardado, Retail Manager of the Santa Clarita Water Division. “We’re in this together with everyone throughout the state and, although we are hoping this coming winter will bring some relief, the Valley’s water suppliers have to plan for the worst. In the meantime, by proactively and vigorously complying with these water conservation mandates, Valley customers can help the local water suppliers stretch our water supplies, help themselves save money and help California weather this severe drought.”
A full copy of the action plan and water agencies’ plans to implement the State-mandated regulations, along with water-saving tips, can be found online at:
Castaic Lake Water Agency: www.clwa.org
About the SCV Water Committee:
For more information, please contact: