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Drought: City Declares 'Stage One of Water Shortage Contingency Plan'

The city is asking for an immediate voluntary 20 percent reduction of water usage.

The recent declaration of a statewide drought made by Governor Brown has prompted local municipalities to ask consumers to help conserve water. Add the City of Pleasanton to the most recent ranks of cities in the Bay Area to ask residents to reduce their water consumption by 20 percent. City officials released a list of tips to help immediately tighten up the tap.

Information provided by City of Pleasanton:

The Pleasanton City Council declared Stage One of water shortage planning at its meeting last night, in response to Governor Brown’s recent State of Emergency declaration regarding California’s drought conditions. On January 17, 2014, Governor Brown declared that California is in a State of Emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for drought conditions.  In addition, the governor is requesting that Californians voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20 percent.

[Related article: Pleasanton Experiences Driest Year on Record]

Following the Governor’s statement, the Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors declared a local drought emergency upon learning that State Water Project allocations may be eliminated, pending the continuation of the dry climate. In such case, water stored in the local groundwater and Lake Del Valle would be the sole sources of water to meet the needs of Pleasanton users.

Pleasanton is asking all customers to take immediate steps to reduce water usage during this emergency so that the long-term sustainability of the community’s water supply can be protected by the elimination of water waste.

Pursuant to the Pleasanton’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan and Urban Water Management Plan, the City Council declared Pleasanton at Stage 1 of water shortage contingency planning and calls on all city water customers to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20%.  Stage 1 of action is defined as sufficient uncertainty concerning water supplies for the year that it is prudent for water customers to conserve local water supplies.

Water customers are encouraged to review water use in and around their homes and businesses to detect and eliminate wasteful water loss, as well as implement water-efficient habits.  The actions below list best practices that water customers can implement now to help protect the water supply.  It is important to keep in mind that water-efficient habits are important every day, regardless of whether California is in a state of drought.  

Pleasanton’s Climate Action Plan (February 2012) stresses the importance of water conservation in reducing the City’s annual green house gas emissions to help curtail climate change. Water conserving practices and eliminating water waste are lifestyle changes necessary to keep Pleasanton a thriving community.

All Water Customers are requested to:

o   Repair all leaks in and around their home and/or business; these include leaky toilets, faucets, showers, and sprinkler hardware

o   Eliminate water runoff from pavement, such as from landscape irrigation or washing hardscape (both are prohibited by Municipal Code)

o   Reduce the frequency of outdoor watering to one-day-a-week or less. - Regardless of limited rain, plants go dormant in the winter, and require little water

o   For compatible irrigation controllers, use the “percent-adjustment” feature to reduce scheduled watering by 20 percent (winter watering can go down as low as 50%)

o   Water landscaping only between 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. to reduce water loss from wind and evaporation

o   Use shut-off nozzles on hoses

o   Turn off water when brushing teeth, shaving, or hand dishwashing

o   Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes

o   Install water-efficient devices, such as faucet aerators and showerheads (available for free from the City of Pleasanton: www.PleasantonWaterConservation.com)

o   Take shorter showers.  Reducing showering time from ten minutes to five minutes can save up to 12.5 gallons if using a water-efficient shower head

The past year (2013) was the driest year on record for much of Northern and Central California. The limited precipitation is compounded by the fact that most State reservoir levels are well below their historical average for this time of the year. These factors, combined with the continuation of an unseasonably dry weather pattern in 2014 warrant immediate action of water-saving habits and practices by all Pleasanton water users.

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