The Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday to lift mandatory limits on water use for consumers, opting instead to implement a 10% voluntary conservation goal going forward.
The vote ended the local drought emergency that had been in effect for the district since February 2014, with the board now declaring a Stage 1 water shortage.
"While our customers are no longer required to limit their water use, we ask everyone to continue using water wisely," DSRSD board president D.L. "Pat" Howard said in a statement.
"Please fix leaks quickly, irrigate smartly, and rethink that thirsty front lawn. The water you save will boost the reserves we need for the future, because we never know when the next drought will occur," Howard added.
DSRSD provides water service to San Ramon's Dougherty Valley and Dublin, as well as wastewater service to Dublin, Pleasanton and parts of San Ramon.
From 2013-15, DSRSD decreased its annual water use by 33.9%, from 11,196 acre-feet to 7,399 acre-feet (an acre foot is equal to 325,851 gallons), according to district officials. DSRSD had a mandatory reduction target of 25% in 2014 and 12% in 2015, and DSRSD customers could track their usage via the district's AquaHawk Customer Portal.
Larger sites such as parks, sports grounds and school grounds in central and western Dublin also converted irrigation to recycled water. In 2015, recycled water accounted for 26% of all water used by DSRSD customers and almost 94% of that was delivered through dedicated purple pipes in the ground, according to the district.
Since local water agencies are no longer required to reduce water use by a state-imposed percentage, each agency must instead analyze its local supplies and take on the level of conservation needed to make certain that there will be enough water for three years.
Under these guidelines, the Zone 7 Water Agency -- DSRSD's wholesale water provider -- established that it can meet the water requirements without mandatory water-use reduction and adopted a 10% voluntary conservation goal earlier this month.
DSRSD's water rates will remain the same this year, the district stated. In November 2015, DSRSD lowered water consumption charges from Stage 2 to Stage 1; the Stage 1 rate is made to achieve up to 10% conservation. Water shortage rates work in parallel with required water conservation goals.
Mandatory state rules that prevent water waste must still be followed. DSRSD customers are not allowed to water within 48 hours of measurable rainfall, use potable water to wash pavement, allow runoff from irrigated areas or use a hose without a shutoff nozzle to wash a vehicle.
Restaurants will serve water upon request only, and hotels must give guests the option of not having their towels and linens laundered everyday.
DSRSD plans to keep open the water fill stations throughout the summer where residents can pick up recycled water to use on home landscaping.
For more information, visit the DSRSD website