California Water Restrictions

8095754682?profile=originalThe drought situation in California is at the forefront of many minds – snowpack levels are at record lows, you’ve probably seen pictures of greatly diminished reservoirs, and if you haven’t got a brown lawn yourself, at least someone on your block does.   In an effort to conserve California’s dwindling water supplies, Gov. Brown issued an executive order requiring a 25% reduction in urban water use (compared to 2013 levels). 


The 25% reduction is the statewide target, while the actual reduction target can vary based on a water district’s previous conservation efforts.  For example, reduction requirements throughout California can range from 4% to 36%. (LA Times, 2015).


If you are a residential customer of Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), you must meet the 25% reduction requirement.  There is a temporary pricing adjustment for households that use more than an average of 200 gallons per day.   As noted on CCWD’s website, the pricing adjustment would temporarily increase the unit cost of treated water by 50 cents (1 unit=748 gallons).   If you are using less than the 200 gallons per day average, you will not be subject to the pricing adjustment and will ultimately lower your water bill.   On the other hand, violators of water use prohibitions could be subject to up to $500 in fines.   


Water_drop_impact_on_a_water-surface_-_%281%29.jpg?width=200East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) customers must reduce water use by 20%.  EBMUD adopted new rate increases and there will be a temporary drought surcharge of up to 25%, both of which will go into effect on July 1st.   Households using an average of 246 gallons per day will see a billing increase of $11.65, which will be removed if drought conditions improve.  Households with excessive water use, those averaging more than 1,000 gallons per day, will be subject to fines.  Residential customers exceeding 80 units per billing period will face a  $2 penalty on each unit over the 80-unit threshold.


Although the restrictions may be daunting, the Bay Area is already among the top water-savers in the California.  The State Water Resources Control Board recently provided data that showed that there was a statewide 29% reduction in water use for the month of May.  Let’s keep that water-saving momentum going!

For additional information visit:

EBMUD's Drought Page

CCWD's 2015 Drought Emergency Plan

LA Times Article

Water Droplet Image Source:  David Restivo, Wikimedia Commons

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