California’s Tap is Running Dry

california drought

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, California is in “severe drought” or worse, with its driest start to the year on record; 2013 was its driest calendar year. Back in January, Governor Jerry Brown declared an emergency and requested state-wide voluntary water conservation. Officials are expecting one of the worst wildfire seasons on record in California. Now would be a good time to check fire coverage limits on your home insurance.

Because of these severe conditions, California’s water districts, counties and cities are urging residents to conserve water with a mixture of mandatory regulations and suggestions to fight the drought. These include water rationing, specific lawn-watering days and even enforcing “water cops” to report water waste.

Dozens of water districts and counties have imposed mandatory cutbacks. According to the Association of California Water Agencies, here is what several local California governments and water districts are doing:

Bonanza Springs Water System

•    Mandatory 35% reduction with steep surcharges for exceeding the allowed limits.
Paradise Valley Water
•    Mandatory 35% reduction with steep surcharges for exceeding the allowed limits.
Kirkwood Meadows Public Utilities District
•    Irrigation of non landscaped, natural vegetation or undeveloped property is expressly prohibited.

City of Folsom

•    Mandatory 20% reduction in water use.
•    Businesses and residences limit landscape watering to two designated days per week.
•    Prohibit washing of parking lots, street, driveways or sidewalks.
•    Prohibit use of City water for construction purposes without approval.

Turlock Irrigation District

Agricultural Reductions

•    Drought rates in effect/surcharge to discourage high water use
•    20-inch allotment for growers during the 2014 irrigation season (half of normal)

Cambria Community Services District

•    Water Rationing: Each permanent residence allotted two units of water per month, or four per the two-month billing cycle (one unit is 748 gallons, or 100 cubic feet)..
•    If a dwelling exceeds the allotment, a 500 percent surcharge for first violation
•    1,000 percent surcharge for second violation
•    Further violations will be subject to discontinuance
•    Commercial users required to reduce use to 80 percent of their 12-month average
Tuolumne Utilities District
•    50% reduction is necessary by all customers
•    Any customer who does not reduce water use by 25% compared to the same month in 2013 could face fines
•    Lawn watering and washing of vehicles, sidewalks, or driveways by hose is prohibited — doing so could result in $500 fines.

Redwood Valley County Water District

•    Households will receive 50 gallons per person
•    Agricultural customers will get 0% of district water deliveries.

Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District

•    As of Feb. 24, 50% mandatory cutbacks are in effect in an effort to maintain as much water as possible in Lake Mendocino.
•    Odd-numbered addresses can water before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays
•    Even-numbered addresses can water on Wednesdays and Sundays during the same hours.
•    Watering is prohibited on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays.
•    Fines can be up to $1,000 during the water shortage.

Some water districts and local governments are offering cash rewards as a reason to conserve.

•    The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is now paying double to residents who rip out their lawns and replace it with alternative landscape materials ($2 per square foot).
•    It will also extend rebates for rain barrels and high-efficiency toilets, as well as increase funding for property owners to convert potable water irrigation or industrial water systems to recycled water starting July 1.
•    Sacramento has a pilot program that will pay people up to $1,000 to replace their front lawns with drought-resistant or native plants.

While you can’t control the water rates, you can check that you’re getting the best rate on your home insurance. Why not get a free home insurance quote today?
How are you planning to save water?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Article Name
California’s Tap is Running Dry
California is in "severe drought" or worse, with its driest start to the year on record. And residents are feeling the pain at the tap.