Pleasanton Weekly

News - February 7, 2014

Pleasanton declares water emergency due to statewide drought

Council asks public to cut water use by 20%

by Jeb Bing

The Pleasanton City Council declared Stage 1 of water shortage planning at its meeting Tuesday night in response to Gov. Jerry Brown's recent state of emergency proclamation regarding California's drought conditions. (Also see cover story, "Facing Drought," pp. 12-13.)

Brown directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for drought conditions. In addition, he asked all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20%.

Following the governor's request, 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 cases, water stored in local groundwater basins 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 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 called on everyone 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.

Daniel Smith, the city's director of operations, said at the council meeting: "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 greenhouse gas emissions to help curtail climate change," he said. "Water conserving practices and eliminating water waste are lifestyle changes necessary to keep Pleasanton a thriving community."

As a result of the council's action, all Pleasanton water customers are asked to:

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

* Eliminate water runoff from pavement, such as from landscape irrigation or car washing.

* 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.

* For compatible irrigation controllers, use the "percent-adjustment" feature to reduce scheduled watering by 20%. Winter watering can go down as low as 50%.

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

* Turn off water when brushing teeth, shaving or hand dishwashing.

* Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes.

* Install water-efficient devices, such as faucet aerators and showerheads (available for free from the city of Pleasanton).

* Take shorter showers. Reducing showering time from 10 minutes to five can save up to 12.5 gallons if using a water-efficient showerhead.

Smith said 2013 was the driest year on record for much of Northern and Central California. The limited precipitation is compounded by the fact most state reservoir levels are well below their historical average for this time of 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, he added.

Comments

Posted by kyle, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Feb 14, 2014 at 8:58 am

how recent is this topic and why what are the levels of the drought system is one considered the worst? or the best?


Posted by Dave, a resident of Parkside
on Feb 14, 2014 at 9:24 am

Yeah, all these things they claim should be volunteered. But it's nothing but a dress rehersal for what is eventually to come. Get ready for black ops, helicopters, and unionized police forces pounding on your doors to take away your guns.

I know one thing. You'll see me today in my front yard giving all my plants and trees a good drink. And then some. I'll not be brow beaten by the liberal nanny state.


Posted by Fed up, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2014 at 12:33 pm

If Pleasanton is so concerned about their water shortage and declaring a water emergence then perhaps the city of Pleasanton had better get their of their arses and go out there and turn off the sprinklers that were coming on in the rain we had last weekend. fix the sprinklers that come on and flood the street and run into the rain gutter because they are broken?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Feb 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Water can be recycled: Web Link

If not voluntarily then by executive order from the White House.

i mean it...


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 17, 2014 at 10:52 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Under consideration by Zone 7 is using the same tactics the chimmney police are using.
Neighbors turning in neighbors and appointed 'officials' looking for landscape plants and lawns that survive this dry period. Your choice will come down to balancing the cost of the water fines versus losing thousands of dollars in landscaping assets.
No mention of halting or curbing developments that consume what little resources we have, nor the mention of adding resources by building more reservoirs. Apparently, environ-mentalists don't like reservoirs....maybe they don't know how to swim......


Posted by Bryan Moran, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Dear Dave,
Running out of water is not a political opinion. Droughts aren't a point of view. Take yourself seriously, what you say and think is important. Dumping excessive water on your lawn, why? Black Opps and helicopters, really? Thats not very realistic to put it mildly.
Dear Fed up,
Excellent point. I wonder if municipalities could be fined, when things have a cost they are paid attention, if they are free they are treated as such.

There is "Feebate" model to encourage positive change. Charge a fee for things you don't want to have happen (Daves of this world being irresponsible) and then take the money and subsidize behaviour you do want. For example subsidizing drought resistant landscaping, drip systems, or what ever is the biggest bang for the buck.


Posted by Map, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Remember don't plan on your water bill going down when you conserve that 20%__ they will always raise the rates to keep that cash cow going. Maybe the water district needs to cut their budget by 20 % also. Good call on turning off those city landscaping sprinklers, lots of wet streets and sidewalks in the early A.M. Throughout the town


Posted by Samuel B., a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Feb 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm

As a TRUE Conservative I know damn well what saving resources and acting on behalf of the environment means to the Ecosystem as a whole.

Don't be a knee jerk "little R", checked pant wearing D-Bag pseudo-conservative Dave. We all will benefit from cutting out a few toilet flushes, shorter showers, switching to drip irrigation and even saving some rinse water from the kitchen sink so that we can maybe have a fruit/vegetable garden, have enough water for the agri-business in this state to flourish and so you can water your precious lawn.


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