Pleasanton halts penalty charges for excessive water users

Residents, businesses cutting 35% in water consumption compared to 2013 base

Penalties imposed on excessive water users in Pleasanton since last May have been lifted for the winter months after city-wide metering showed reductions far exceeding the mandatory 25% cutbacks.

Dan Martin, the city's utilities superintendent, said Pleasanton residents and businesses achieved a 27.8% reduction in drinking water consumption in 2014 and are on track for at least a 35% savings for this year.

The consumption reduction rates are based on usage compared to actual 2013 billings.

"The effective drinking water savings impact has been 1.65 billion gallons in 2014 and almost 2 billion gallons so far in 2015," Martin said.

Based on these results. Martin recommended removing the penalty charges although the mandatory 25% cutback requirement will continue.

"In recognition of the community's water conservation efforts, staff is recommending a suspension of the excess use penalties," Martin told the City Council, which voted to accept his recommendation.

The excess use penalties could be resumed in March when information regarding the effects of the winter rain and snowpack will be known.

Even so, Pleasanton's and the state's restrictions are still in place.

Kathleen Yurchak, interim director of Operations Services, which includes the city water department, said that despite recent rainfalls, "it is important that the community know and remember that the drought is not yet over."

"We all need to be vigilant and keep our consumption as low as possible and do all that we can to comply with the mandatory 25% reduction over 2013 use," she said.

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8 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:45 am

Thanks Dan and Kathleen for using a carrot instead of a hammer to manage water usage. Palo Alto has used this technique (no threats) and their rates of conversation are equal to Pleasanton's.

5 people like this
Posted by Michael
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 9, 2015 at 1:24 pm

I think it is irresponsible to halt the penalties at this point in time where El Niño is still just a forecast, the rainfall for this season is still below normal and with a lot of rain needed to catch up for the last three winters. The community achieved the water saving goal because of the people who were saving water despite some heavy users. If you lift the penalties the big users will just go wild again. If penalties do not stop them what will they do with no penalties?

5 people like this
Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 9, 2015 at 1:56 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

Funny how a little rain makes everyone feel like the water shortage is over! I don't think the penalties should be stopped because those are the BIG wasters!!!!

Maybe the City is stopping the fines because Councilman Brown was cited publically as a water hog and assessed a penalty. I wonder if it is "do as I say and not as I do".

3 people like this
Posted by Timothy T
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Let's just call this what it is, a chance for all the idiots who built pools last summer to fill them.

Thanks for the short-term thoughtfulness on a long-term problem!

4 people like this
Posted by Joan
a resident of Parkside
on Dec 10, 2015 at 5:52 am

Timothy...what makes you say that people that build pools are idiots??
Perhaps the same might apply for people that make stupid comments

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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