Pleasanton declares water emergency due to statewide drought

Council asks public to cut water use by 20%

The Pleasanton City Council declared Stage 1 of water shortage planning at its meeting last night in response to Governor Jerry Brown's recent State of Emergency declaration regarding California's drought conditions.

Brown directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for drought conditions. In addition, he asked all Californians voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20%.

Following the governor's request, the Zone 7 Water Agency board of directors declared a local drought emergency upon learning that State Water Project allocations may be eliminated, pending the continuation of the dry climate. In such case, water stored in the local groundwater and Lake Del Valle would be the sole sources of water to meet the needs of Pleasanton users.

Pleasanton is asking all customers to take immediate steps to reduce water usage during this emergency so that the long-term sustainability of the community's water supply can be protected by the elimination of water waste.

Pursuant to the Pleasanton's Water Shortage Contingency Plan and Urban Water Management Plan, the City Council declared Pleasanton at Stage 1 of water shortage contingency planning and called on everyone to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20%. Stage 1 of action is defined as sufficient uncertainty concerning water supplies for the year that it is prudent for water customers to conserve local water supplies.

Water customers are encouraged to review water use in and around their homes and businesses to detect and eliminate wasteful water loss, as well as implement water-efficient habits.

Daniel Smith, the city's director of Operations, said at the council meeting: "It is important to keep in mind that water-efficient habits are important every day, regardless of whether California is in a state of drought."

"Pleasanton's Climate Action Plan (February 2012) stresses the importance of water conservation in reducing the city's annual greenhouse gas emissions to help curtail climate change," he said. "Water conserving practices and eliminating water waste are lifestyle changes necessary to keep Pleasanton a thriving community."

As a result of the council's action, all Pleasanton water customers are being requested to:

o Repair all leaks in and around their home and/or business; these include leaky toilets, faucets, showers, and sprinkler hardware.

o Eliminate water runoff from pavement, such as from landscape irrigation or car washing.

o Reduce the frequency of outdoor watering to one-day-a-week or less. Regardless of limited rain, plants go dormant in the winter and require little water.

o For compatible irrigation controllers, use the "percent-adjustment" feature to reduce scheduled watering by 20%. Winter watering can go down as low as 50%.

o Water landscaping only between 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. to reduce water loss from wind and evaporation.

o Use shut-off nozzles on hoses.

o Turn off water when brushing teeth, shaving, or hand dishwashing.

o Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes.

o Install water-efficient devices, such as faucet aerators and showerheads (available for free from the city of Pleasanton.

o Take shorter showers. Reducing showering time from 10 minutes to five can save up to 12.5 gallons if using a water-efficient showerhead.

Smith said 2013 was the driest year on record for much of Northern and Central California. The limited precipitation is compounded by the fact that most state reservoir levels are well below their historical average for this time of year.

These factors, combined with the continuation of an unseasonably dry weather pattern in 2014 warrant immediate action of water-saving habits and practices by all Pleasanton water users, he added.


Posted by right, a resident of Parkside
on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:37 am

"Pleasanton's Climate Action Plan (February 2012) stresses the importance of water conservation in reducing the city's annual greenhouse gas emissions to help curtail climate change,"

LOL, I understand not wanting to waste water, but why try to link this year's dry weather pattern with the ignorant leftist zealotry of the 'climate change' religion? It does a disservice to those who are truly trying to conserve so that all those new low income developments in the city can use up whatever water is left over.

So, maybe if we save more water, the sun will stop shining so brightly? Or less brightly? Which is it this week? Are there any other windmills they can tilt at? Pretty comical............

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:57 am

We have a water emergency yet the city think they need to "upgrade" the pioneer cemetery, where no one ever paid for this, to include planting grass and watering it. Am I the only one who sees the disconnect here? Leave it alone!
The city also thinks it is OK to water the grass at the golf course, one of the largest wastes of water ever. Let the grass die. Golf is not by any means essential to the lives of anyone and the failure to have clean drinking water threatens everyone. Get your priorities straight Pleasanton. You need to lead the crowd in saving water before you dare to ask those of us who already conserve to do even more.

Posted by Trish M, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:07 am

City should check showers at Aquatic Center. Women's locker room showers do not shut off all the way and water is constantly running there. Also, should install "timer" type buttons in showers at Aquatic Center to encourage more efficient water use there.

Posted by oldtimer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:23 am

I think I see what is coming. We will reduce our usage by 20%. Water district revenue is reduced by 20% so it will raise rates to recover their losses. Weather will eventually change and we will get plenty of rain. Rationing ends. Rates stay the same.

Posted by Zone 7 sold water out of county, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:32 am

We have no water because Pleasanton's water (in Alameda County) has been sold out of county by Zone 7 to provide water for the 1000s of new houses in Contra Costa County in San Ramon in the Dougherty Valley.

Posted by Not a golfer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:42 am

Yep, I'll start conserving water as soon as Callippe Preserve stops watering their fairways and greens. What a load of B.S., Mayor and Pleasanton City Council.

Ask all of us to conserve water, but NO mention of any cutbacks being enacted or requested re: WATERING A GOLF COURSE OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE CITY OF PLEASANTON?!

Heaven forbid if you were to upset some of the wealthiest folks in the community. Perish the thought.

Posted by Jill Buck, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:47 am

Isn't the golf course watered with captured grey water, not potable water that we use for homes and irrigation? I think those are 2 different water sources.

In addition, this is how water conservation and climate change are connected:
One of the state's largest end uses of electricity is in the treatment, heating, and conveyance of water in California. The less water we use, the less energy we use. This is known as the energy/water nexus. Here's a link to the CA Energy Commission Web Link, and here's a link from the CA Public Utilities Commission Web Link

Californians do a great job of conserving energy compared to many other states. But when it comes to electricity, we use more than we create, so 25% of our electricity is imported from other states. A good deal of that electricity comes from power plants that emit CO2 (a heat trapping gas that stays in the atmosphere for quite some time) - even natural gas plants emit CO2, just less than a coal plant. Since the nuclear plant in San Diego is now permanently shuttered due to leaks, we have quite a bit less carbon-free energy in the state now. Here's a link to our state energy profile from teh EIA: Web Link

So, having said all that, when we use less water, we use less electricity that would be needed to move and treat that water. When we use less electricity, we emit less CO2. When we emit less CO2, we reduce the amount of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, which is involved in climate change.

Basically, climate change comes down to a 6th grade science lesson about the earth's carbon cycle and water cycle. When we take carbon that was stored underground for millions of years (oil, coal, natural gas), and reintroduce it to the earth's carbon cycle by burning it and releasing it into the atmosphere, we change the earth's carbon cycle. Normally the earth's vegetation, watersheds, and oceans absorb the carbon in the air, and keeps the system in balance. The difficulty now is that at the same time we've brought up all this carbon from underground, we've simultaneously deforested a lot of land, and built over watersheds, thus diminishing the earth's capacity to absorb all the new carbon released by burning fossil fuels. As a result, more of the carbon stays in the atmosphere which acts like insulation, holding in more warmth from the sun (greenhouse effect). That doesn't mean every corner of the earth will be warmer, but overall, as average global temperatures rise, the ocean will get a bit warmer, and icy places will begin to slowly melt. (This is what we're seeing in the Arctic Circle,and why you will hear about more military and shipping activity in that region - they can actually get ships through in places that used to be impassable). This melting and ocean warming creates evaporation (here's where the water cycle comes in). More evaporation leads to a drying of the soil in some places (drought), and in some places more evaporation will mean that more moisture in the air will create more snow or flooding rains, depending on the jet stream and many, many other complicated factors. This a "Reader's Digest" version of what people call climate change.

Of course, CO2 from burning coal, oil and natural gas isn't the only gas we emit that traps heat in the atmosphere. There are others, but CO2 is the one you will hear about the most.

Anyway, for what it's worth, that's how conserving water helps conserve energy which help reduce CO2 emissions which has a role in climate change. Hope this is helpful.

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:18 am

Thanks for the lesson Jill. However, the golf course does not use grey water. It wastes water that could otherwise be used for drinking. Stop watering the city owned golf course immediately. Then, and only then, can they come to me and ask that I do even more than I already do to conserve water.

Posted by Jill Buck, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:23 am

Jill Buck is a registered user.

Wow, no grey water on the golf course? That's not good. I'll still do my part to conserve b/c I think it's really important to save all we can, but I agree that residents can't carry the load alone.

Posted by Born and Raised, a resident of Parkside
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:24 am

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)

Posted by ed mcg, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:46 am

The golf course infrastructure is set up to use reclaimed water. However, there needs to be a pipeline to connect the reclaimed water supply to the golf course. Are there federal or state funds to help offset this cost? This should be a priority.

Posted by Mark, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:49 am

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:49 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Jill, that's an admirable recitation of the usual talking points that ultimately result in govt controlling our every activity and steering us back towards an existence emulating the dark ages.
But, let's take, for instance your concern about electricity usage---instead of conveniently singling out water pumps (never mind all the hydroelectric power being generated using water), you should be focused on population control and mitigating all the additonal usage from electric vehicles in this state. I'm sure you'd get a lot more results from your efforts in both the short and long term that blaming water conveyance that has been in place for more than century.

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:53 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Mark, you're obviously wrong in your assertion and your terminology. Havven't you heard, it's not called global warming any longer. You must use the term 'climate change' so you can encompass every possible scenario and control people's lives and incomes accordingly.
Plus, this subject involves equal part politics and science, funded by grants designed to determine a specific outcome...otherwise their funding dries up, just liek Zone 7's water supply being exported to new developments.

Posted by Mark, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 11:00 am

liberalism, I'm not one who cares to be politically correct, so whatever. As far as equal parts science and politics, I agree 100 percent! For you to acknowledge that is to acknowledge that there is 50 percent truth to "climate change" and that there is truth to the science. The politics involved in using the science advantageously is very real problem. But a complete denial of one party to the truth is the science my problem. Thank you for acknowledging that the science is 50 percent real, that's a step in the right direction.

Posted by Jim, a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 5, 2014 at 11:14 am

It's refreshing to see other locals are not as easily fooled by our government. The population issue here is a big one and is being looked over due to greed. The new developments need to stop and the local governments need to be held accountable for their waste as well.

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

So, we are in agreement, Mark. Absent from your comments is an attempt to blame 'climate change' on humans. I know you and your scientist compatriots would never claim such arrogance, to suggest that lowly men could alter the course of Mother Nature. Much less that man can somehow alter the climate 'back' to whatever they feel is the 'optimal' climate. Only men who feel more powerful than God could possibly think they could alter the universe in such a way. It assumes you know better what the climate should be like and ignores that climate is a natural phenomenon and as such has fluctuated throughout time without the aid or hinderances from mortal men. No one could possibly be that arrogant, neither scientists nor political philosophers.

Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 11:25 am

Disclaimer: I do not know the stats, the science nor the politics of water…
Observation: My news sources supply me with pictures everyday of low and empty reservoirs. Yet, I drive by Shadow Cliffs and the the other quarry lakes and they appear as full as ever. Zone 7's website states that our ground basin holds 250,000 acre feet, but they never want to pump it less than 130,000. Assuming it's full, that gives us a supply of 120,000 acre feet. Again, from Zone 7's site, an acre foot will supply 2 households for one year. Last census had Pleasanton at 25,000 households. Simple math would conclude we are sitting on a 10 year supply of water.
Disclaimer #2: I have put about 30 minutes into my research…
I'm not looking for an argument. I am looking to learn the truth about our local water situation and what is the value of the water I see sitting here in the middle of our valley…

Posted by Jill Buck, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 5, 2014 at 11:28 am

Jill Buck is a registered user.

Liberalism: I didn't recite any talking points - I did my own research. I'm curious about how things work is all. And for the record, I'm not a big fan of the government controlling a lot, but I'm a BIG fan of people controlling themselves - whether it's their words, their temper, or their use of water and other natural resources. Ben Franklin said it best, "Waste not. Want not." Nobody's perfect, but we can all try to do better. Our kids and grandkids are going to need the natural resources we either save for them, or take from them.

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm

for ed mcg -- why should Federal or state funds be used to water a golf course that serves only those who use it? User fees should be increased as much as necessary to fund anything connected with that golf course. I am tired of hearing people say that "the government" (that's us you morons) should pay for things that serve only a select few people.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Feb 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm

There are a few posters feel duty bound to waste resources. If you observe somebody clearly wasting water report them.


Posted by Ennis, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Take a look at the link below -Zone 7, 2011 report- all 197 pages. From what I can tell, Pleasanton quarries aren't set up a as part of the water supply. Demographics, sources and capacities, all there.
Thank you for your explanation.
The rest of you- glad you've been able to pin our lack of water on a left-wing government conspiracy. Glad you will be joining conservation efforts...waste not, want not....
Golf courses, lawns in Plesanton, regardless of neighborhood 'rules' = no water

Web Link

Posted by Jill Buck, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Jill Buck is a registered user.

Jack - really good questions. Here is the contact information for the Pleasanton residents on the Zone 7 Water Board as listed on their website. If you get answers after calling them, please share. You've piqued my curiosity!!

Angela Ramirez Holmes

Phone: 925/454-5750
Board Member Since: 2012
Current Term Expires: June 30, 2016
Zone 7 Committee Assignments: Finance Committee, Liaison Committee
Background: A Pleasanton resident, and a political consultant.

Dick Quigley

Phone: 925/454-5755
Board Member Since: 2004
Current Term Expires: June 30, 2016
Zone 7 Committee Assignments: Administrative Committee
Background: A Pleasanton resident and a retired senior logistics coordinator at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Posted by Born and Raised, a resident of Parkside
on Feb 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Liberalism is a disease is right on here. This is God's providence, not ours. But because the liberals kicked Jesus out of the classroom, we're having our Dear Leader's muslim-communist ideology shoved down our throats. Every day. And his point about scientists being funded by the Obamba administration is a good one. There was none of this talk when Bush was in office. Back then, the scientists claimed we are all God's little children and that the expanding ozone hole is nothing more than Jesus' warning of the coming rapture.

Posted by JP, a resident of Happy Valley
on Feb 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Congrats to all -- this has been one of the most civil and rational discussions in the Town Square. First point: the earth's climate has been changing since the earth first came into existence. That's why New York used to have a two mile thick ice cap covering that land mass and Yosemite was covered by giant glaciers. Second point: humans, who've existed a microscopic moment in the earth's time-line, have the temerity to think in that brief moment of their existence, the earth's conditions are stable and unchanging, and humans have ultimate control of all changes. When there is a minuscule change, humans tend to blame gods, demons and each other for causing that change. Such hubris. Third point: the earth's natural resources, to include oceans, the atmosphere, rivers, streams, and lakes are finite and it's insane to believe man can dump garbage into those finite resources without having a dilatory effect. It doesn't take a scientist to understand that living down stream from sewerage run-off is not healthy. For scientists and citizens, whether or not man is causing, contributing to, or has no effect on weather may be in dispute, it is indisputable that unrestrained dumping is unhealthy and hurts the quality of life. For politicians, climate change is not about science or quality of life, but more about political power and control... Pity. So, no matter where you land politically, we all benefit when we leave our world a little cleaner and maintain our liberty. Fourth and last point: The 800 pound gorilla in the room is southern CA, a political and financial force dominating all political decisions in CA. Shipping oceans of fresh water from the Bay Area, the western Sierras and the Owens Valley to LA, subsidized by federal and state tax payers has been and one of the biggest threats to our environment. Build more dams, bigger pumps, more tunnels, divert the Sacramento River... Our politicians, state and federal, claim to be some of the most environmentally conscious, yet they support the most environmentally destructive water programs in America.
Meanwhile, we search for ways to deal with the drought. We could always try doing what the ancients did and offer a sacrifice to the rain gods. Unfortunately, today it may be difficult to throw virgins into the volcano to appease the rain gods. Maybe the rain gods have a sense of humor and are open to other kinds of offerings... Let's toss our politicians into Mt. Lassen's boiling sulfur pools. Even if it doesn't bring rain, it will sweeten the aroma...

Posted by Common Sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm

If the City is asking us to cut usage then they better make sure they cut the water usage for the golf course regardless of how much money the golf course makes for Pleasanton. The public's needs first, not the Golfers with ALL the dough. City council and mayor are you listening??

Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm

"... and humans have ultimate control of all changes. "

I don't think anyone believes that. Have you seen where anyone was saying that?

Posted by AR, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Water is a natural resource given to us by nature, we need to ensure no wastage from our side if rains or not

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

born and raised (mittens), I think you were laid and hatched, leading to an ozone hole in your head. Your 'contributions' detract from the seriousness of the issues discussed here, which will ultimately negatively everyone's quality of life.
JP, I enjoyed reading your post, but agree with john-no one is inferring that humans have control of 'all' changes.
Whether you deny God's existence, like mittens, or just choose to ignore the enormity of the earth's atmosphere, there is no way man can manipulate the earth's climate or change it to their ideal of what the climate should be.

Posted by Born and Raised, a resident of Parkside
on Feb 5, 2014 at 2:21 pm

... because there has always been weather, even before God created Adam and Eve and the dinosaurs from one cloth, or when they rode in Noah's ark together. And because weather has always existed, there is nothing to lead us to infer that man is causing so-called global warming, except those lying scientists with a hole in their heads who never tell the truth. (That's why I refuse to ride elevators or in airplanes.) They only have opinions just like everyone else, and there no better at finding out truths then me when I talk to God, the creator of Heavan and Earth. I feel honored to be part of this serious discussion.

Posted by JP, a resident of Happy Valley
on Feb 5, 2014 at 4:14 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)

Posted by right wing nuts, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Same old LID at it again, denying the facts. At least Jill has it right… we all need to conserve.

Posted by Citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm

I water my lawn twice a day at night so nobody sees it!!

Posted by Not a golfer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm

No effort to curtail watering Callippe Preserve, don't expect any effort from me or other citizens of Pleasanton to conserve, either. Are you listening, Mr. Mayor and City Councilmembers?

"Stage 1" water shortage planning...hmmm, does that include the golf course?

Also, to those in this comments string commenting about climate change and global warming, OK, let's presume everything you've stated is spot-on accurate, along with presuming the consequences are further depleting our precious water resources.

Tell that to the Mayor and City Council, who've approved THOUSANDS of new, high-density housing developments across Pleasanton. Oh, and have you driven along the Stoneridge Drive extension to Livermore recently? What do you think they're going to do along either side of that newly paved roadway? That's right--build, build, build.

If you're so concerned, tell the Mayor and City Council to reverse all of the THOUSANDS of new apartments that will add to global warming, climate change, CO2 emissions, and water usage in the Tri-Valley.

Good luck. It's too bad the Mayor and City Council caved in to Gov. Jerry Brown, Urban Habitat, and the rest of those who decided to force Pleasanton to become a huge city in the not too distant future.

Think they ever thought about how they're going to provide something as basic as water to all those THOUSANDS of new residents?

No way. And soon, we will all suffer the consequences.

Posted by Local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm

JP, I think you bring the most rational thinking, to this most rational discussion. I thank you. To nuts and cholo, your sense of proportionality, scale, and perspective is astonishing. Yelling in the forest changes very little. Major POLLUTERS like China, India, and others outnumber us and our efforts a million to one!!!!! We pay dollars to go through motions of trying to mediate their messes, for naught !!! Americans are but a fleck in the big picture of mother earth. It makes us 'feel' more righteous, but China's winds bring us their pollutants in x numbers of days, which has slipped my mind at this moment. Their polluted air falling over us diminishes anything we do. Good ol' Mother Nature will take care of the 'processing' just like she has MANY times in our Billions of years, during previous repeated heating and cooling cycles. Watch out for blowback when pixxxng in the wind.

Posted by Nona, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Not just the golf course, but all the median strips filled with thirsty grass and plants all over Pleasanton. Why aren't they being watered with gray water?

I often see parks with sprinklers going during the day. Why aren't they watered at night to reduce evaporation?

Posted by JP, a resident of Happy Valley
on Feb 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Thank you, "Local". You're most kind. Hope it brought a smile.

Posted by Cmore, a resident of Dublin
on Feb 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Ironic that the city places conservation emphasis on property owners. When I lived in Pleasanton (2003 - 2010) I recall the streams of water running down city streets during the night due to poor city property watering practices and installations. Clean up your own act city of P!

Posted by local, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm

The Sports Park uses an incredible amount of water. I wish I remember how much water is used there per year. Would be good if the city let the public know how much water is used in each of the facilities including the sports park, golf course, etc. And then LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Don't ask the residents to cut back until you show us how the city is cutting back.

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

JP, I love your posts. Where have you been all this time? You are a voice of reason in the wilderness of kool aid drinking, left leaning haters of human existence! Keep up the good work.

Posted by Water rationing, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Before they make it mandatory I would assume that the city set the example and stop watering the medians, sports parks, city parks, city office landscaping, and also eliminating pools and golf course in this town.

Posted by 8-Year Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Just analyzed our water bills for last year. Subtracted off the fixed charges. In the winter we have the irrigation off, so we can see what the "inside the house" base usage is. About 8 units per billing cycle, 4 per month. In the summer we use a lot more: 75% of our water use is in irrigation. The only way we are going to cut overall water usage by 20% is by cutting irrigation by about a third. We already practice all the conservation measures listed in the article for "inside the home" usage. So far my spouse has drawn the line at the "if it's yellow, let it mellow - if it's brown then flush it down" approach, which I fondly remember from around 1990.

It looks like water costs about $2/unit, and each unit is 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons. "Inside the home" we use about 6000 gallons in a billing cycle, that is about 3000/month or 100 gallons/day. The irrigation is about 3 times that much over the course of the year. Guess we'll have a brown lawn this summer, but it would be sad to have a statewide water emergency and have ours be the only brown lawn in town.

If the city wants to encourage conservation, steepening the cost curve seems like a good approach. To reward water conservers, the cost for the first 20 units should be lowered, while raising the cost more steeply for the 3rd and higher usage tiers. The average customer's bill should not be affected.

P.S. There was a large landscape-irrigation flood on Bernal Avenue, just uphill from the Bernal-Sunol interchange, on Monday morning at about 7:30 a.m. It was a bit disheartening to see the city flooding the streets in the middle of a statewide water crisis. The sprinkler's shouldn't even be on in the middle of the rainy season, and certainly not just after a substantial rainstorm.

Posted by Stella, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:04 pm

If it's yellow let it mellow, If it's brown flush it down.

and why must golf courses be green?

Posted by Beth, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 6, 2014 at 9:08 am

There have been many comments about reducing the watering of golf courses, But I don't see people talking about reducing the amount of lawn in our home gardens. Our lawns suck up a lot of water. I have removed my lawns completely and am very happy with the new look. I am saving a lot of water. Zone 7 will even give you some money for removing your lawns. You can get ideas about how to remove lawns and using drought tolerant plants by going on the Bringing Back the Natives tour, which is May 4 (Web Link) . There are a few Pleasanton and Livermore gardens that have been on this tour in the last few years. You could drive by those gardens and look at even if you don't go on the tour. On the Bringing Back the Natives web site just open the links for past years and look for gardens in our area. One tip is that it's much hotter here than in other locations. So the plants growing in these Pleasanton and Livermore gardens are the ones that will survive our summer heat.

Posted by member, a resident of Livermore
on Feb 6, 2014 at 10:08 am

It's amazing to me that people feel entitled to waste water. No matter what your neighbor does, shouldn't you do the right thing? Hopefully your neighbor will start to conserve by watching your example of not watering your lawn. Even it's like Miss Sneaky who is watering twice at night.

this drought situation is serious and we could run out of water if we all don't do our part. And contrary to popular belief, we in the tri-valley are part of the southern california water system. We are part of the ones taking water from the north. I often here people here in the tri-valley talking like we are part of the north and the "entitled" group who are sending "our" water south. this isn't the case. do your research and you will see.

Posted by Citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

Let's all conserve water and shower and shave at the mayor's house!!

Posted by local, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 6, 2014 at 10:44 am

Beth, I will remove my lawn after the city does the same thing in the sports park, golf course and medians.

Posted by Uncle Fuzzy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2014 at 11:17 am

The rainfall we receive in California ebbs and flows, its a natural phenomenon. What isn't natural is the huge population increase in the state. What amazes me is that nobody seems to recognize that as the root of the problem. We need to significantly cut immigration to the U. S., and we need to be seriously focused on birth control. As the old saying goes "you think the oil crisis is bad, that's small potatoes compared to what the water crisis will be in the Western U. S."

Posted by JP, a resident of Happy Valley
on Feb 6, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Water conservation/management has been a hot topic in CA since the early hydro-mining days of the gold rush. It became even hotter when groups discovered they could get others to pay for water to be stored and delivered to normally dry population centers such as LA. Even Jerry Brown's dad (while governor) made cheap water delivery to LA one of his central achievements... Developers made big bucks, politicians scored major contributions and the beat goes on. Pat Brown's son, Jerry, is trying to live up to his dad's 60 year old achievements. Meanwhile, investigative reporters don't investigate, they regurgitate, while citizens get bilked and our rivers run dry. I'm with "Citizen" --- let's go shower at the mayor's house.

Liberalism: "Where have I been?" I post only when conversations seem civilized and I'm not too busy. Alas, even then, the Pleasanton Weekly Staff may remove my post as "irrelevant to the thread". Must be how investigative reporters occupy their spare time...

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Jill brought up the science of water. I wrote a blog about it 2.5 years ago. It's one of my better ones. Here's a link Web Link


Posted by Susan, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Feb 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm

The city should use reclaimed water as Dublin is already doing to water parks,etc. As pleasanton citizens lets do our part too by reclaiming gray water from our homes to water our gardens and lawns. We have been doing this for 25 years and have a lovely garden primarily watered by our shower and washing machine water. We are cAreful not to use this recycled water on root crops though.

Posted by 8-Year Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm

@member: "No matter what your neighbor does, shouldn't you do the right thing?"

I think the question is figuring out what is really the right thing. If the water shortage is only temporary, then saving water while destroying property values (dead landscaping) might not be such a good tradeoff. What I heard people saying above is that they'd do what the community did, but they don't want to have their own property's appearance sacrificed while the city parks and other heavy water users skate by. I think that's very reasonable.

Meanwhile, if the water shortage becomes more serious, and property values must be destroyed (either farmland not producing, or residences with dried-up landscaping), it's still an open, political question which should be given preference. It seems to me that it will take extreme residential conservation to supply enough water for a meaningful increase in crop irrigation.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

I just updated my blog on The Water Cycle from 2011. I fixed all of the links to external sources and added a little more on why understanding the Water Cycle is important to Climate Change. I hope some of you will read it and comment on it. Web Link


Posted by Scared Suburbanite, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Feb 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)

Posted by Earl, a resident of Parkside
on Feb 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm

The Sports Park is nice and green, no water shortage there. The mayors lawn is nice and green, guess he hasn't cut back.
We have to watch our water consumption so we can have nice green lawns for golf courses.
I'll conserve more when I start seeing that the courses are drying up and the median on Hopyard is not flooded in the middle of the night

Posted by Local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2014 at 5:59 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)

Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm

I agree, this drought was definitely caused by Obama.

Posted by JB, a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 29, 2014 at 9:19 am

I walked my dog around the sports park this morning and was surprised to see the sprinklers on at 8:30 AM. I am sure the city has requested that lawns not be watered after 6:00 AM. I was even more surprised to see that the grounds keepers have taken up sweeping away the puddles on the sidewalks. I am certain it is not to keep our feet dry but, instead it is to try to hide the fact that they are wasting water on "hard surfaces". I know in many areas the city is trying to practice what it preaches but, apparently the Sports Park is exempt! I am sure Ken Mercer whom the park is named after would not approve.

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Understanding Early Decision in College Admissions
By Elizabeth LaScala | 1 comment | 1,796 views

New heights for NIMBYs
By Tim Hunt | 26 comments | 1,124 views

When those covering the news become the news
By Gina Channell-Allen | 0 comments | 885 views

Earthquake Insurance
By Roz Rogoff | 2 comments | 712 views