Water District Keeps Reduction Target

Posted on January 28, 2017 by  
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The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors voted Jan. 24 to continue its call for water-use reductions of 20 percent compared with 2013 water-consumption levels.

In 2016, Santa Clara County used 28 percent less water than in 2013. While statewide and local conditions have improved significantly, the board members emphasized that dry conditions could return, and the community’s water savings achievements should be continued.

At its Tuesday meeting, after the Town Crier’s press deadline, board members planned to issue a new resolution for a continued limit on watering ornamental landscapes to no more than three days per week. Officials said the district would drop its prior call for retail water agencies, local municipalities and Santa Clara County to implement mandatory measures, as needed, to achieve the 20 percent water-use reduction target.

The water district does not have the authority to enforce mandatory water-use restrictions on the customers of each local water provider. Since 2014, the board’s resolutions have instead requested that water providers implement their own mandatory water restrictions to reach the target. By dropping the “mandatory” language now, board members expect that local water providers will not use drought surcharges or penalties to motivate customers to meet the 20 percent goal.

Certain activities that waste potable water are permanently prohibited by the State Water Resources Control Board, including hosing off sidewalks, driveways and other hardscapes; washing automobiles with hoses not equipped with a shut-off nozzle; using nonrecirculated water in a fountain or other decorative water feature; watering lawns in a manner that causes runoff or within 48 hours after measurable precipitation; and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.

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