Pleasanton's main water supplier is asking residents to cut down on the amount of water they use in light of the situation in the Delta region and a below-average snowfall season.
Zone 7 Water Agency, which provides 80 percent of those who live in Pleasanton with water, is asking people to reduce their water usage by 10 percent, a similar request that was made last summer.
The call for conservation comes on the heels of the East Bay Municipal Utilities District's announcement Tuesday that it was asking its customers to cut their water use in half.
Karla Nemeth, environmental and public affairs manager for Zone 7, said the water agency isn't asking for as much of a reduction from its customers as East Bay MUD, and that's because the agency has enough stored groundwater and other reserves to meet demand this year. But, she added, that doesn't mean residents shouldn't see East Bay MUD's decision as a red flag for the Tri-Valley, which also receives its water supply from the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta. Zone 7 receives its supply from the Delta through the State Water Project, and then wholesales it to serve 200,000 people in Pleasanton, Dublin and the Dougherty Valley in San Ramon.
Water that is pumped through the channels of the Delta to the Bay Area has been decreased due to a court ruling involving the killing of the Delta smelt--a small, silvery fish that is being sucked through the pumps.
Nemeth said the ruling has caused Zone 7 to lose nearly 10,000 acre-feet of water since the beginning of this year--enough to serve about 20,000 households for a full year. Another 25,000 acre-feet has been cut from State Water Project deliveries due to a small snowpack in the Sierras and a dry rainfall season locally.
An average family of three living in the Tri-Valley uses about 350-450 gallons of water per day, including for irrigating landscaping. However, water usage can double in the summer months due to higher temperatures.
Below are some ways residents can reduce their daily water usage.
conservation tips and average savings per day
Water before 7 a.m. (15-40 gallons)
Water lawn only when and as much as needed; step on grass and if it springs up when you lift your foot, it doesn't need water (36+ gallons)
Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants (36 gallons)
Don't run hose when washing cars; use a bucket of water and quickly rinse at the end (38 gallons for two cars)
Use a shut-off nozzle on hose, making sure there's no leaks (5+ gallons)
Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation (32 gallons)
Use a broom, not a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks (19 gallons)
Shorten showers by 1-2 minutes (up to 22 gallons)
Install a high-efficiency toilet (22 gallons)
Don't use toilet as trash can (16 gallons)
Run only full loads of laundry and dishes (18 gallons)
Install high-efficiency clothes washer (18 gallons)
Check and repair leaky faucets and sprinklers (20 gallons)