June 3, 2015
Re: Implementing State-Mandated Drought Contingencies
Dear Water User:
On April 1, 2015, Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15, directing the State Water Board to issue emergency water conservation regulations to achieve a mandatory statewide 25% reduction in potable water usage through February 28, 2016. Subsequently, the State Water Board adopted Emergency Regulations which, among other things, impose additional water use prohibitions and mandate the Agency to achieve 36% savings in its customers’ potable water use in 2015 as compared to their use in 2013.
The Agency’s current available water supply, in conjunction with its customers’ conservation record and the Agency’s conservation efforts, would not independently justify imposing a mandatory 36% reduction in the Agency’s potable water production in order to protect against continuing drought conditions, as the Emergency Regulations do. Were it not for these mandatory regulations, South Feather Water and Power would not have to impose restrictions on its customers other than to request reasonable and voluntary conservation efforts. The Agency’s water storage currently stands at 70% of average for this time of year, which amount exceeds well over four times its customers’ annual potable demand.
Although the Agency believes that the State is imposing conservation measures on Agency customers that are inappropriate and unnecessary, South Feather intends to utilize its best efforts to comply with the Emergency Regulations’ mandates, which include the following wasteful water practices:
- Applying potable water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures;
- Use of a hose that dispenses potable water to wash a motor vehicle, except where the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle or device attached to it that causes it to cease dispensing water immediately when not in use;
- The application of potable water to driveways and sidewalks;
- The use of potable water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, except where the water is part of a recirculating system;
- The application of potable water to outdoor landscapes during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall;
- The serving of drinking water other than upon request in eating or drinking establishments, including but not limited to restaurants, hotels, cafes, cafeterias, bars, or other public places where food or drink are served and/or purchased; and,
- The irrigation with potable water of ornamental turf on public street medians;
- The irrigation with potable water of landscapes outside of newly constructed homes and buildings in a manner inconsistent with regulations or other requirements established by the California Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development; and,
- Failure of the operator of hotels and motels to provide guests with the option of not having towels and linens laundered daily.
Also, outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes or turf utilizing potable water shall only be conducted between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. This restriction does not apply to the limited use of a hand-held bucket or similar container, a hand-held hose equipped with a positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle or device, an irrigation system that uses stream rotor sprinklers that meet a 70% efficiency standard, very low-flow drip-type irrigation systems where no emitter produces more than two gallons of water per hour, or to commercial nurseries and growers utilizing non-potable, raw water.
We know that our customers are conscious of the drought because they already achieved a 10% decrease in 2014 as compared to 2013, and they are on track to conserve even more in 2015. So, in addition to implementing the mandatory conservation measures listed above, we’re asking Agency customers to implement measures within their households and businesses to reduce per-capita water use by 25% so that we can achieve the Agency’s assigned water conservation goal (water saving tips are available at www.southfeather.com). The Agency has no plans to impose water budgets or penalties on its customers, and there are also no plans to increase water rates to affect conservation.
Please let me know if you have questions or need additional information.
South Feather Water and Power Agency
Michael C. Glaze, General Manager