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.
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.
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