News

State sets new water restrictions for urban areas

California's State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously Tuesday to impose new mandatory restrictions on urban water use as the state enters its fourth year of drought.

The state's drought could become even more dire as the year goes on. Little relief is expected entering the typically dry spring and summer months, and Sierra snowpack is only at around 20 percent of average.

While most urban water agencies have placed their own restrictions, water board members said Tuesday, March 17, that those steps have not gone far enough and there is little consistency between agencies.

"Urban agencies have not stepped up as much as they should be stepping up," state water board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said at Tuesday's meeting.

The restrictions passed today include prohibition on landscape irrigation during the 48 hours following measurable precipitation and calls on water agencies to set a limit on the number of days per week landscapes can be watered.

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If any jurisdictions fail to set a weekly limit on watering landscapes, the limit will be automatically set at two days per week when the new regulations take effect.

The restrictions on landscape watering came under fire particularly from people running golf courses. Many golf course representatives said they thought they could bring water usage down without limiting how many days they irrigate.

"It's achievable, it's doable, it's what the industry wants to do, we do need a little flexibility," Ron Zraick, the general manager at San Jose's Cinnabar Hills Golf Club and president of the California Golf Course Owners Association, said at the meeting.

He said his golf course has achieved water reductions of nearly 25 percent and has a great relationship with the local water district.

The new regulations do allow for allocation-based rate structures, board adviser Max Gomberg said.

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In addition to placing new restrictions on landscape irrigation, the regulations passed Tuesday require restaurants to only provide drinking water on request and hotels to give guests an option to not have their towels and linens laundered daily.

The new restrictions extend and broaden restrictions set last year with the goal of a 20 percent reduction in water usage from 2013 to 2014.

The continuing restrictions include prohibiting washing down sidewalks and driveways with potable water, watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff, washing cars without using an automatic shut-off nozzle, and operating a fountain without a recirculating water system.

While the state has saved 146 billion gallons of water since June, the state must continue saving water in any way possible, Gomberg said. The board pledged to look into passing even stricter and permanent restrictions in the coming months.

— Bay City News Service

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State sets new water restrictions for urban areas

Uploaded: Wed, Mar 18, 2015, 4:35 pm

California's State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously Tuesday to impose new mandatory restrictions on urban water use as the state enters its fourth year of drought.

The state's drought could become even more dire as the year goes on. Little relief is expected entering the typically dry spring and summer months, and Sierra snowpack is only at around 20 percent of average.

While most urban water agencies have placed their own restrictions, water board members said Tuesday, March 17, that those steps have not gone far enough and there is little consistency between agencies.

"Urban agencies have not stepped up as much as they should be stepping up," state water board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said at Tuesday's meeting.

The restrictions passed today include prohibition on landscape irrigation during the 48 hours following measurable precipitation and calls on water agencies to set a limit on the number of days per week landscapes can be watered.

If any jurisdictions fail to set a weekly limit on watering landscapes, the limit will be automatically set at two days per week when the new regulations take effect.

The restrictions on landscape watering came under fire particularly from people running golf courses. Many golf course representatives said they thought they could bring water usage down without limiting how many days they irrigate.

"It's achievable, it's doable, it's what the industry wants to do, we do need a little flexibility," Ron Zraick, the general manager at San Jose's Cinnabar Hills Golf Club and president of the California Golf Course Owners Association, said at the meeting.

He said his golf course has achieved water reductions of nearly 25 percent and has a great relationship with the local water district.

The new regulations do allow for allocation-based rate structures, board adviser Max Gomberg said.

In addition to placing new restrictions on landscape irrigation, the regulations passed Tuesday require restaurants to only provide drinking water on request and hotels to give guests an option to not have their towels and linens laundered daily.

The new restrictions extend and broaden restrictions set last year with the goal of a 20 percent reduction in water usage from 2013 to 2014.

The continuing restrictions include prohibiting washing down sidewalks and driveways with potable water, watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff, washing cars without using an automatic shut-off nozzle, and operating a fountain without a recirculating water system.

While the state has saved 146 billion gallons of water since June, the state must continue saving water in any way possible, Gomberg said. The board pledged to look into passing even stricter and permanent restrictions in the coming months.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

E. Seaman
Old Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2015 at 2:52 pm
E. Seaman, Old Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2015 at 2:52 pm

We could save a fair amount of water if our eating establishments would be required to
ask customers whether they want water, rather than serving it automatically. Or they could put bottles of water on the table and provide small glasses, as does Yam Leaf Bistro.


SoCal
Cuernavaca
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:07 pm
SoCal, Cuernavaca
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:07 pm

I'm tired of Southern California not doing their fair share. The data has shown NorCal saving 15-20%, while SoCal is flat or even up a bit in consumption. Just spent a few days in Palm Springs, where ornamental fountains were spouting 24/7 and the lawns were lush green...

It's not right.


Running out of water
Monta Loma
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:11 pm
Running out of water, Monta Loma
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:11 pm

We will probably run out of water for everyone and then the mass exodus will start, all property that where worth millions are now worth nothing. Similar to what the Liberals and Unions did to Detroit, but this will be a natural disaster, or wait it's man made globe cooling, no wait, global warming.


Why was agriculture left off?
Blossom Valley
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:35 pm
Why was agriculture left off?, Blossom Valley
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Wondering why the state left off agriculture and businesses besides service industries to be on a reduction? Also, they need to revamp age-old water rights and re-do them with drought in mind. A friend said his in-laws in Southern Cal were in a former agriculture zone and the lawn was soggy from overwatering because the in-laws didn't get bills based on use.


wow
Blossom Valley
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:51 pm
wow, Blossom Valley
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:51 pm

I have acquaintances that live in mass rental dwellings in the Mtn View and Palo Alto areas. Most don't really care about things...yet. I think these mass rental dwellings need to have a better way to see which units are conserving vs. just running their water just as they were before 2015.


Rossta
Waverly Park
on Mar 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm
Rossta, Waverly Park
on Mar 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm

If we are out of water,why is there no restriction on building new homes? All the regulations seem to be on the people to free up enough water for big Ag and builders to continue and grow. Meanwhile the environment loses and people are told to cut back and pay more.
You can try to blame it on liberals and unions, but repeating that tired rhetoric still doesn't make it any closer to being true.


Reclaimedwater
Old Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:05 pm
Reclaimedwater, Old Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Why don't we use reclaimed water for landscaping like some other cities and states? Right now we just dump them into the bay - what a waste. The water agency has to treat the waste water before they can dump into the bay so they don't kill the fish and wild life. We can use the water for agriculture and landscaping, too.

Web Link


Water Wise
another community
on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm
Water Wise, another community
on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Reclaimed water is used sporadically all over the North Bayshore area. You can see the purple landscaping pipes being installed in the new building being built in the large parcel between Pear and L'Avenida. This means reclaimed water.


True
Blossom Valley
on Mar 19, 2015 at 6:27 pm
True, Blossom Valley
on Mar 19, 2015 at 6:27 pm

...and yet our esteemed state Senator is opposed to artificial turf athletic fields. Web Link

How much water are the remaining grass fields using in Mountain View?


Common sense
Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2015 at 10:30 am
Common sense, Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2015 at 10:30 am

This is all meaningless. All the conservation by bay area residents is meaningless unless SoCal and agriculture are forced to get on board, either by legal restrictions or by paying true market prices for their water. California's bought-and-paid-for legislature will make sure this never happens.


SoCal
Cuernavaca
on Mar 20, 2015 at 11:58 am
SoCal, Cuernavaca
on Mar 20, 2015 at 11:58 am

California Water Use: 80% agriculture, 10% individual, 10% corporations.

If EACH group were to cut back 10%, this would be the savings contribution:

Agriculture - 80% x .1 = 8%
Individual - 10% x .1 = 1%
Corporation - 10% x .1 = 1%

If agriculture would only cut back by 5%, it would still be 4x the amount of savings from other areas. They need to be in this process too, and if they are, I'd like to see (transparent) data.


Larry
North Whisman
on Mar 26, 2015 at 8:56 am
Larry, North Whisman
on Mar 26, 2015 at 8:56 am

California/Nevada have obvious solutions to their drough, yet for some unexplainable reason, no one in state government is talking about proven solutions, instead only interested in further CONTROL of peoples private property and lives. Hmm, maybe that is the hidden goal??

First and foremost, there is proven, working green technology for the unlimited desalination of sea water in amounts to quench the thirst of California citizens. It is being used in Texas, supply entire cities with unlimited water, and NO pollution. Yet Cali refuses to discuss it as a proven option. The company is called "SaltTech", is established in Midland Texas, and supply all their water. Hmmm, maybe Moonbeam and the Sacramento demoRATS just want to control people, their property, and continue to build their multi BILLION dollar train boondoggle?

Secondly, both California and Nevada have what seems to be, an inexhaustible source of fresh water, in old lode mines. These mines flooded with millions upon millions of gallons of water even when under construction, and it was almost impossible to keep them pumped out with pumps running 24/7. So why has no one tapped into these huge underground caverns of fresh flowing water? Just the Carson City Comstock Lode mine has a staggering amount of fresh water flowing deep inside it's bowels.

Simply put, there are solutions that are able to meet the needs of California, but it is evident that someone, somewhere, just isn't interested.


Get Real
another community
on Mar 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm
Get Real, another community
on Mar 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm

In California ONLY FOUR PERCENT of the water is used for urban users, restaurant, small business and private consumption or use for watering outdoor landscaping.

94% NINETY FOUR PERCENT is used for farming and livestock raising.

Another 3% is used for manufacturing of products.

It's not going to make any real difference even if all urban use is cut by 50% or even 100%. The problem is the lack of reasonable practices on the part of farming and livestock raising. A hamburger currently costs 600 gallons of water to create. A lot of the food is exported from the United States. Just like anything else, farming can see efficiencies. It just raises the cost of the food, in some cases by small amounts.


Really Get Real
Old Mountain View
on Mar 30, 2015 at 11:09 pm
Really Get Real, Old Mountain View
on Mar 30, 2015 at 11:09 pm

Hey "Get Real". YOU "really" need to get your facts straight.

Less than 40 pct of water in California goes to agriculture. And guess what? That produces food which keeps people from starving.
And guess what?
Agriculture pumps many billions into the economy.
California is the United States largest producer of grown food and largest exporter too. (although most of it stays within the US).

So, sure..lots of water is used, but lots of value is gained. You can't just turn off their spigot without major local, regional, state and national impacts.

On the other hand, is asking someone to stop watering their lawns every day (which is bad for the lawns anyway) too much to ask?


Get Real
another community
on Mar 31, 2015 at 1:44 am
Get Real, another community
on Mar 31, 2015 at 1:44 am

Sooo bad to lie like that. Agriculture uses 93% of the water consumed by mankind in California. The last poster is using some water-waster talking points which count water used to keep streams flowing and wildlife healthy as a "use". B.S. Of the water used by humans for their endeavors and life, agriculture uses 30 times more than do regular citizens in their daily lives.

That has huge ramifications for this current disaster, where it's agriculture that has sucked the underground aquifers dry due to the drought over the last 4 years. This shouldn't have been allowed to happen. Of course people shouldn't water their lawns every day, but it's highly misleading to say that there is any commensurate effect to what agriculture does. All these trees that the farmers have been planting in their chase for the almighty collar have increased their water demand and made it year round. This is a mistake. They plant the crop that will sell the best to CHINA and JAPAN among other overseas destinations. The factory beef industry feeds off shore markets using OUR WATER. It's a crock to say that this can go on. The signs that urge us to kill the salmon and end the lives of the smelt and so forth are quite disingenuous.


Conservative
Jackson Park
on Mar 31, 2015 at 6:21 am
Conservative, Jackson Park
on Mar 31, 2015 at 6:21 am

Farmers are taking the water, using it without restriction then exporting the food out of the US. Here's a good idea: If you're exporting food, you need to abide by stricter conservation regulations. Flood irrigating of almonds in the southern central valley only to export the crop when it's done is shameful and borders on unpatriotic.


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