Due to high levels of water conservation in Zone 7 Water Agency's customer service area, the community is already in a position of meeting California's first-ever mandated reduction in water use, according to agency officials.
Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order on April 1 for a mandatory statewide 25% reduction in water use, as compared to 2013 levels, through Feb. 28, 2016.
Since then, the State Water Resources Control Board has announced proposed conservation targets for specific communities throughout California, based on their average per-capita water use in September 2014.
Agency officials said the proposed targets for its four water retailers, which includes Pleasanton, are about the same level of conservation as last year.
"Even though Zone 7 will have enough water in 2015 to meet all of its retailers' demands without the state-mandated conservation, it is prudent for the community to continue to conserve at the new state-required levels in light of the continuing drought," said Zone 7 representatives.
During Wednesday night's board of directors meeting, Zone 7 was scheduled to consider staff recommendations to support the state's emergency actions and work with its retailers on conservation messaging to help them achieve the statewide requirements.
Due to local drought measure taken in 2014, when Zone 7 received 5% of its allocation from the State Water Project, the Valley's water retailers called for conservation and reduced water use by almost 30%.
"That's enough to meet their respective proposed state targets for 2015," said agency officials. "So for our community, assuming the State Board's proposed regulatory framework is finalized in May following public input, it's essentially a matter of staying the course."
2015 water supplies
The Annual Water Sustainability report notes that Zone 7 can deliver 100% of requested water demand in 2015, and even assuming drought conditions are more severe next year, can deliver 96% of projected 2016 water demands.
"Zone 7 thanks the community for its excellent 2014 conservation that helped preserve water during the ongoing statewide drought," agency officials said.
The sustainability report also notes:
• Zone 7 has received a 20 percent allocation from the State Water Project (SWP). This allocation is four times the amount of SWP water delivered last year and is not expected to change. The allocation is large enough to allow for water supply exchange opportunities within the SWP system and therefore gives Zone 7 certain access to its drought supplies stored in Kern County.
• Lake Del Valle southeast of Livermore also captured more local runoff than in 2014 and Zone 7 anticipates receiving more than 2,000 acre-feet of local runoff this year.
• Of the 172,000 acre-feet of water supply that Zone 7 has in storage, 40,700 acre-feet is available for recovery in 2015, including State Water Project carryover from last year, groundwater, and non-local storage in Kern County. One of the reasons Zone 7 has this much water storage is the fabulous job the community did to conserve resources in 2014.
The emergency drought projects Zone 7 completes last year have been helping in 2015 and beyond, according to a statement released by Zone 7. The agency constructed a new municipal well and an intertie to move water captures in local mining operations to a lake that has groundwater basin recharge capability.
"Both projects will help Zone 7 optimize management of groundwater supplies," agency officials said.
In addition, Zone 7 said it will be designing a new intertie with East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and developing another ell site in Pleasanton with a temporary booster pump station in the event that moving water east becomes necessary under limited surface water conditions.
The water agency is also preparing an amendment to its 2011 Water Supply Evaluation, largely to examine new data from the current drought, such as dry conditions causing an outage in Delta conveyance of State Water Project supplies similar to catastrophic loss from earthquakes, problems with accessing out-of-Valley banked water when SWP allocations are low, and other factors.