The Pleasanton City Council is expected to require residents to cut their water usage by 25% over last year's consumption and possibly to impose severe cost penalties if they don't.
The action is being recommended by Daniel Smith, director of Operations Services, after a review of current water bills showed the 20% voluntary reduction he and the council urged in February has failed.
"In fact," Smith states in a report to be presented the council's meeting tonight, "water usage from this same period compared with 2013 actually shows a 9.1% increase in water usage in 2014."
Zone 7, which supplies much of the potable water Pleasanton uses, has already advised the cities it serves to expect a 25% reduction for all of 2014 compared to actual production last year.
The 25% reduction is expected to hit larger families the hardest as well as those with swimming pools that will still need to be topped off during the hot summer months to maintain adequate levels and water safety.
Zone 7's mandates, in fact, prohibit refilling swimming pools that are uncovered when not in use as well as banning the filling of new pools or draining and refilling existing ones.
In his report tonight, Smith doesn't mention swimming pools in his list of proposed restrictions, but otherwise tracks the Zone 7 mandates, including not irrigating lawns between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. or at any time when it is raining.
In declaring a Stage 3 water shortage, the council's resolution, if adopted, would also allow Smith and his department staff to inspect private properties to look for compliance to the new water reduction rules.
Although Smith's report makes no recommendations related to rate increases or the cost of penalties, if any are imposed, he does point out the there likely will be increased costs for the city to treat water because a greater percentage will be drawn from groundwater wells instead of Zone 7.
Also, since there should be a 25% reduction in water usage, that will mean less revenue for his department whose work actually will be increasing because of the need for greater enforcement measures.
The council meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Pleasanton Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave.