San Mateo County (KPIX) – The Coast County Water District declared a water emergency Thursday, reinstating some water restrictions for the approximately 19,000 customers it serves in Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Princeton and Miramar .
“We’re going to experience a drought for the third year in a row,” said Cathleen Brennan, CCWD’s water analyst. “CCWD does have local resources, but they are affected by drought, and we rely on buying from SFPUC to serve our communities. When SFPUC announced that water When a resource shortage emergency came and gave us an allocation, that prompted us to declare a water shortage emergency and enforce certain water restrictions so we could try to meet that allocation.”
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According to a CCWD decree, all customers are prohibited from:
1. The manner in which water is applied to outdoor landscaping not only creates incidental runoff, but also causes water to flow to adjacent properties, non-irrigated areas, private and public sidewalks, roads, parking lots or buildings;
2. Use a hose that dispenses water to clean motor vehicles, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle or a device attached to it to stop dispensing water immediately when not in use;
3. Wash sidewalks, driveways, buildings, structures, patios, parking lots or other hard surface areas with water;
4. Use water for street cleaning or construction site preparation unless other methods are unavailable or necessary to protect public health and safety;
5. Water used for decorative (decorative water features) fountains or water injection or capping of decorative lakes and ponds, except for decorative fountains, lakes and ponds that use pump circulating water and only need to be replenished and replaced. Evaporation loss:
6. Water lawns and ornamental landscaping during and within 48 hours after a measurable rainfall of at least a quarter of an inch of rainfall. In determining whether a given area has experienced at least a quarter of an inch of measurable rainfall, enforcement may be based on National Weather Service records, the CIMIS station closest to the parcel, or any other reliable source of rainfall data available to the district.
7. Use water to irrigate ornamental turf on public street strips.
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The restrictions focus primarily on reducing outdoor water use and reducing water waste.
“The biggest change is that if you have sprinkler irrigation, you can only irrigate two days a week. This is based on your address, so on even days you can irrigate on Mondays and Wednesdays, and if you have an odd address, you can only irrigate on Irrigation on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can’t have sprinklers between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and each station can only run for a maximum of 10 minutes,” Brennan said. “If you have drip irrigation – which we think is a more efficient irrigation system – you don’t have the same constraints. Hopefully it will encourage people to upgrade their irrigation systems to enable drip irrigation.”
According to Brennan, CCWD’s goal is to reduce overall water usage in its service area this year.
The Water District expects all customers to use a maximum of 50 gallons per person per day. However, it will not fine or punish those who use more.
“We think it would be good to have daily thresholds or goals for our clients in the regulations so we can assure them that if they’re already there, they really don’t need to do more,” she said. “A lot of our customers are already doing so well that they really don’t have a way to cut more. But there are others who can do more — they can cut down on irrigation or install high-efficiency toilets, that sort of thing.”
You can read the entire ordinance on the Coastside Water website.
On Friday, state water officials will conduct a crucial fourth snow survey of the season, and expectations are not good.
The April 1 survey is considered a key measurement of water conditions for the rest of the year, as it typically occurs when snow packs reach their peak moisture levels before the spring snowmelt.
The latest drought map shows more than 40 percent of the state is in extreme drought conditions, including parts of Sonoma and Napa counties.
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The rest of the Bay Area is currently in the severe drought category.