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.