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Pleasanton Weekly

News - May 20, 2011

Pleasanton water plan calls for recycling, conservation

State mandates 20% reduction by 2020

by Glenn Wohltmann

Pleasanton is revising its Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP), to meet the state's requirement to cut water use by 20% by 2020, and is looking for public input.

"It's basically a document that describes how the city of Pleasanton as an urban water supplier is going to be able to meet the future demands of water in our area," said Rita Di Candia, the city's water conservation coordinator.

The plan outlines Pleasanton's water sources -- 80% is purchased from Zone 7 Water Agency with the remainder from local wells -- and its demand, which has averaged about 244 gallons a day per person. The goal is to reduce that to 220 gallons a day by 2015 and to 195 gallons a day by 2020.

Much of the goal can be met by recycling water. Using recycled water for irrigating city property would mean less use of clean water, and Pleasanton officials have developed a recycling program with water from a recycling system priced at 80% to 90% of fresh water.

Moving customers to recycled water has some obstacles, mainly from the cost of hookups and converting existing systems.

Pleasanton, however, has a three-phase plan to use recycled water, bringing it first to the Staples Ranch project by 2013. Next, it would build pipelines for water users at Hacienda Business Park, with that to be completed by 2016. Finally, those pipelines would be extended to the Sports Park, to be completed by 2018.

Funding for Staples Ranch has already been secured, and Pleasanton officials estimate the cost for Hacienda and the Sports Park would run $19 million.

While Pleasanton pursues recycling, Di Candia said educating people about water conservation is another key component.

"We're asking people to educate themselves as well as review the draft document," she said, adding, "There's a huge percentage of water waste through irrigation."

In addition to education, the city offers residential water surveys to help people reduce the amount of water they use.

The plan also outlines steps to be taken in the event of a drought, with measures for everything from a voluntary reduction of use in a Stage 1 water shortage to mandatory maximum reductions in Stage 4 drought.

The Urban Water Management Plan is available for review online or by contacting Di Candia at 931-5513.