Livermore Enforces Mandatory Water-Use Cutbacks

Posted in: Crisis Response, Drinking Water News, Drought, Ground Water News, Water Conservation, Water Crisis
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Sprinkler system. Photo Credit: KTVU

Article courtesy of Jana Katsuyama| April 15 2014| KTVU.com| Shared as educational material

LIVERMORE, Calif. —

An East Bay community is taking a dramatic step to avoid running out of water in this drought.

The City of Livermore announced Tuesday that it is imposing mandatory cutbacks of indoor and outdoor water use. The cutbacks go far beyond any that have been imposed so far. Starting immediately, the city is asking residents for a 50 percent cut in outdoor water use and 5 percent indoors.

Longtime Livermore resident Rob Schmidt told KTVU he’s already thinking of how the drought will impact his roses and well-established garden.

“Stuff in the ground doesn’t need it every day. Stuff in pots need it once a day and sometimes twice a day,” said Schmidt.

The City of Livermore announced its previous call for voluntary 20 percent cutbacks resulted in only 4 percent savings. So the city is imposing a 50 percent mandatory cutback for outdoor water use.

“We need to reduce our irrigation demand right away by 50 percent or we will run out of water in the late summer and have to go to even more Draconian conservation levels,” said Daniel McIntyre, Livermore Public Works Director

McIntyre says if customers fail to conserve there could be no water left for irrigation by July and August. Bay Area Water districts say outdoor water use is the biggest source for savings.

“One sprinkler leak can waste up to 1,000 gallons a day so we’re really asking our customers to make sure your systems are operating at full capacity and you have no leaks,” said Nelsy Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for East Bay MUD.

Livermore residents will be limited to watering twice a week.

“It’s not the end of the world, but it’s certainly unfortunate with the work that went into keeping it up,” Schmidt said.

The City of Livermore is also calling for a 5 percent mandatory cut of indoor water use. Some residents say that could be difficult, however, because they say they’re already taking five minute showers and reducing their water for laundry and dishes.

“We’ve already cut back as much as we can and I don’t know at this point where we can cut further,” said Lynn Schmidt.

Livermore is one of four customers that get water from the wholesaler Zone 7 Water district. The others include Dublin, San Ramon, and Pleasanton, which also are expected to impose mandatory cuts to save water.

The Zone 7 Water Board has a meeting Wednesday to discuss cuts.

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