Mandatory Water Conservation Measures in Effect in Poway

Posted in: Drought, United States Water News, Water Conservation
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Article courtesy of Steve Dreyer| August 6, 2014 | Pomerado News | Shared as educational material

Mandatory water conservation measures for homes and business in the city were approved Tuesday night by the Poway City Council.

The measures, retroactive to Aug. 1, include:

• Outdoor watering for homes with odd-numbered addresses will be allowed only on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Even-numbered homes will be allowed to water on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Apartments, condos and businesses will be permitted to water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The city is asking that watering be limited to 10 minutes per station and that it be done in the mornings and evenings. The recommended time period is between 6 p.m. to 10 a.m.

• Residents are asked to make sure that water from sprinkler systems does not run off onto non-irrigated areas.

• The hosing down of paved surfaces such as driveways and patios is prohibited.

•Use only a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle or a bucket to water landscaped areas that are not irrigated by a system.

• Restaurants will be asked to serve drinking water only upon request and hotels and motels will be asked to offer guests the option of not having towels and sheets washed daily.

Pool and spa covers are encouraged but not required under the city’s “Level 2 Water Storage Alert” rules, City Manager Dan Singer said.

The city and the Poway Unified School District are both exempted from the rules, as are golf courses, commercial nurseries and well water and ground water supplies. Singer said that City Hall employees are working on ways the city can save water.

Singer stressed that the city staff is more interesting in public education than financially penalizing water conservation offenders. In cases were offenders are reported, city employees will meet with the homeowner and explain the rules, opportunities for rebates and arrange for a free water conservation inspection.

The council on Tuesday night authorized the transfer of about $90,000 from within the water fund to increase the rebate fund and for costs related to other water conservation measures.

Singer said year-to-date water use by city residents is up 13 percent when compared to the same period last year. Gov. Jerry Brown is calling for 20 percent cutbacks statewide.

During the last drought, Poway water usage dropped 11 percent in 2008, 14 percent in 2009 and 10 percent in 2010, Singer said. Steps taken by the council back then included the creation of a five-step water rate system that financially penalized the owners of larger parcels. The city switched to a two-step system once the last drought eased.

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