Achieve a mandatory 25% statewide reduction in potable water use
By Aileen Flores
Jurupa Valley – In response to Governor Jerry Brown’s recent Executive Order, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) released a draft of its latest drought regulations on Apr. 28.
The overall goal of the new restrictions is to achieve a mandatory 25% statewide water usage reduction. Each urban water supplier will be required to meet a specified conservation standard based on their average gallons-per-capita-per-day (GPCD) for the months of July, August, and September 2014. Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD) and their customers would be mandated to meet a total 28% district-wide reduction in potable water usage, down from the 32% originally proposed by the State Water Board.
At a 28% water usage reduction, JCSD’s cutback is expected to be approximately 5,625 acre-feet (AF) (which is equivalent to 1,832,914,288 gallons). JCSD’s service area has already consumed 1,345 AF to date.
The State Water Board’s most recent draft would require urban water suppliers such as JCSD to:
- Meet water conservation standards through the reduction from both residential and non-residential users.
- Ban the use of potable water to irrigate turf on public street medians.
- Prohibit the use of potable water to irrigate newly constructed homes and buildings as established by the California Building Standards Commission.
- Notify customers of a potential leak on their property.
- Submit monthly detailed reports, starting with June 2015 metrics, to the State Water Board.
The State Water Board estimates the new regulations will go into effect May 15 and must be implemented by water urban suppliers by June 1, 2015.
All Californians are still prohibited from:
- Washing down sidewalks and driveways.
- Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff.
- Washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle.
- Operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system.
JCSD is currently in Level 2 (Drought Caution) of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP). The following Level 2 irrigation restrictions were adopted in August 2014 and continue to be in place, until further notice:
- Residential and commercial ornamental landscape and turf irrigation is limited to four (4) days per week, which equates to being able to water every other day.
- Residential and commercial ornamental landscape and turf irrigation is limited to the hours between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., for no longer than 10 minutes per station, per day.
Additionally, all leaks must be repaired within 72 hours of notification from JCSD. Residential and commercial businesses are notified via door hangers or direct mailers regarding identifiable or reported leaks.
The following are currently exempt from irrigation restrictions, until further notice:
- Functional sports and activity fields.
- Residential or commercial ornamental landscape that use non-potable water.
- Landscape that uses properly functioning water-efficient devices such as drip/micro irrigation systems, stream rotor sprinklers, and weather-based irrigation controllers.
The following are the State’s additional regulations that were implemented on Mar. 7:
- Irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation.
- Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request.
- Operators of hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily and prominently display notice of this option.
Many conservation programs and services are in place to assist residential and commercial customers, which include rebates for water-saving devices (high-efficiency washers, weather-based irrigation controllers, rain barrels, etc.), turf replacement programs, free sprinklers, and educational workshops, and conservation events. For more information about these programs visit the websites below or call JCSD’s Conservation Coordinator at (951) 727-8007.
For more information on how to increase your water-use efficiency, visit the following websites:
- JCSD.us/Conservation provides a description of conservation programs offered by JCSD and partnering agencies. Here you will also find JCSD’s WSCP.
- iEfficient.com is a collaborative conservation effort developed by water agencies and cities throughout the Inland Empire, including JCSD.
- SaveOurWater.com is a partnership between the Association of California Water Agencies and the California Department of Water Resources.
- BeWaterWise.com offers tips from Metropolitan Water District.
- WesternTurfReplacement.com is a program that pays a rebate incentive of $2 per square foot of area that is replaced with water-friendly landscaping.
- SoCalWaterSmart.com provides a listing of all the rebates that are available to JCSD customers and most water customers in Southern California.