Gov. Jerry Brown ordered a statewide mandatory water use reduction of 25% on Wednesday.
"Our community is already there," said Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) general manager Bert Michalczyk. "Under our current drought management plan, our customers cut water use by 30% during the summer and 25% for the whole year. We can do it again. We will need to make a few minor changes in our drought response efforts to match what the Governor has ordered, but for the most part we simply need to stay the course."
DSRSD, which provides wastewater treatment to Pleasanton, has started to work with the other Tri-Valley retailers -- California Water Service Company, City of Livermore, and City of Pleasanton -- and wholesaler Zone 7 Water Agency to coordinate this year's drought responses throughout the valley.
"We realize that folks may tire of complying with the drought restrictions, but when the water supply is so limited, it's what we have to do," Michalczyk said. "It's not a pleasant message for us to convey. It's like being told by your doctor that your blood pressure is too high. You may not like it, but you have to cut back on your use of salt."
The water district is also working with other agencies to diversify the valley's water supply portfolio through the Tri-Valley Water Police Roundtable, a series of discussions among elected officials that are open to the public. The next meeting is scheduled for April 22 at 5 p.m. in the DSRSD boardroom, 7051 Dublin Blvd. in Dublin.
How to stay course
Currently, DSRSD customers can use automatic sprinklers for outdoor irrigation once a week, but households still must use no more that 4,480 gallons of water a week. District officials encourage customers to register for the free AquaHawk portal to monitor their water use in real time, as well as receive alerts when they are using too much water.
DSRSD is also offering free water-conserving devices and toilet leak detection tablets at its office. In addition, rebates are available for lawn conversions, weather-based irrigation controllers, pool and spa covers, and high-efficiency clothes washers, toilets and urinals.
For customers that want to keep their landscapes green, recycled water is available at DSRSD's Residential Recycled Water Fill Station. The water is free to any resident, not just DSRSD customers.
In order to help businesses and public buildings comply with local and state requirements, the water district has free signs for bathroom mirrors that aim to encourage customers to conserve water and report leaks to management. For restaurants, there are free signs available to inform customers that water can be served only on request.
More information about these programs can be found online.