Statewide Mandatory Urban Water Restrictions
In April, the 1 million customers of San Jose Water Company cut their use of water by 25%, compared to April 2013, as did residents of Palo Alto. On April 1, Gov. Brown announced an executive order imposing California’s first-ever statewide mandatory urban water restrictions.
Many complained that larger families were being unfairly targeted, so a San Jose water company decided that households of more than 4 people can petition for more water. The San Jose Water Company’s program sets a monthly target based on a family of 4 since that is the average size household in its service area. Starting on June 15, the company is asking customers to cut back water usage by an additional 30%.
California’s relentless drought seems to be far from over but now, water districts and private water companies can receive a $10,000 fine a day if they fail to meet strict conservation targets during these times. Saving urban water is the cheapest and most efficient way to make sure communities have enough water if the drought persists and to avert more drastic cuts later. However, many families do not agree with these targets.
“They should base the allotment on the number of people in the family and everybody should pitch in. It’s as simple as that,” San Jose resident Briana Gaetano said. “I think it only makes sense.”
How Will California Reach 25% Conservation?
Depending on past use, each community has a water reduction mandate of between 8% and 36%. Water-guzzling cities and desert resorts can make huge cuts by neglecting big lawns and letting them go brown. If this is the case for you, then you can find out how to replenish a brown lawn at Lawncare.net. Nevertheless, water-frugal communities with few lawns, such as San Francisco are less able to conserve even more water. Dozens of cities have blasted the water reduction targets as unrealistic and unfair, but communities with pitiful savings face hefty fines.
Large cuts are expected to be seen immediately. Communities will report their water use monthly, and regulators will investigate agencies that lag in conservation.
15 Water Saving Tips for the Outdoors
Summer is the peak time for water use and the best opportunity to save by letting your lawn go thirsty.
Here are some useful water saving tips for the outdoors that you can apply:
- Adjust your lawn mower to the height of 1.5 to 2 inches (taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better than short grass).
- Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
- Avoid planting grass in areas that are hard to water.
- Call your local conservation office for more information about xeriscaping with water-thrifty trees, plants, and ground covers.
- Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered.
- Collect water from your roof by installing gutters and downspouts, and direct the runoff to plants and trees.
- Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid overwatering some, while under watering others.
- If installing a lawn, select a lawn mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.
- If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
- Leave lawn clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
- Let your lawn go dormant (brown) during the winter. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every 3 to 4 weeks and even less if it rains.
- Look for WaterSense® labeled irrigation controllers.
- Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter.
- Spread a layer of organic mulch around plants to help them retain moisture.
- Use porous material for walkways and patios to prevent wasteful runoff and keep water in your yard.
To learn more about how you can save water during these difficult times, contact us at 760.734.5787 and get in touch with one of our engineers.