With reservoir levels shrinking during another "critically dry year," Stage 2 water shortage rates will go into effect next month for customers in the Dublin San Ramon Services District's service area, after the Board of Directors approved the rate increase at their Oct. 5 meeting.
"The district is ramping up water conservation because we are concerned about water supply for next year," General Manager Dan McIntyre said in a statement on Thursday. "The drought is serious, and anything we can do to save water now is essential."
The cost of a unit of water (100 cubic feet or 748 gallons) will increase from $1.32 per unit to $1.66, effective Nov. 5. According to the district, which serves 187,500 people in Dublin, San Ramon and Pleasanton, "Without conservation, the average single family residence water bill is estimated to increase $3.40 monthly ($6.80 per bimonthly water bill)."
Officials said, "The increase in rates is a way to encourage customers to do all they can to conserve, especially those who use the most water."
Since last month, DSRSD has been operating under a Stage 2 water shortage emergency, mandating 15% water conservation and limiting the timing and frequency of outdoor irrigation. The Zone 7 Water Agency and cities of Pleasanton and Livermore have also recently required customers to cut back on their water use by 15% compared to 2020 use and placed limits on irrigation.
Outdoor irrigation will be limited to no more than three non-consecutive days per week, then one day per week starting Nov. 1 and lasting through Feb. 28. To reduce evaporation, watering is limited to between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Water leaks must also be stopped or repaired "upon discovery or within 24 hours notification by DSRSD." Potable water for washing hard surfaces such as buildings, fences and vehicles is prohibited, "except for building exteriors and fences for the sole purpose of repainting or repairs," and pressurized washers must be equipped with a quick action shut-off nozzle. Cleaning windows using a direct connection to potable water is also prohibited.
Commercial and construction businesses must also comply with the 15% water conservation mandate. Restaurants, cafes and other places serving or selling food may only serve water upon request, commercial kitchens must use pre-rinse spray valves, and hotels must offer customers the option to opt out of daily linen service.
Potable water also may not be used for construction and dust control, and all potable water construction meters must be replaced with recycled water construction meters.
For more information about water conservation and water rates, visit www.dsrsd.com.