Drought and Water News Update – April 2017

On Friday, April 7, 2017, Governor Brown issued an executive order that lifts the emergency drought declaration, retains prohibitions on wasteful practices, and advances measures to implement permanent, long-term water conservation actions. In parallel, the California Department of Water Resources, the State Water Resources Control Board and other state agencies released its final report, “Making Conservation a Way of Life.”

The foundation of the framework is focused on using water more wisely, eliminating water waste, and strengthening local drought resilience. There will continue to be a permanent ban on wasteful practices such as hosing down driveways, using non-recirculating water in a decorative water feature, and excessively watering lawns. Additionally, there will be increased support for resources and technology that helps detect water leaks, which can prevent excessive water loss. The framework will also consider developing local water budgets similar to those that the Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD) already has in place.

The State’s plan to develop local water budgets further reinforces the approach that MNWD is taking to achieve water efficiency. Understanding the need to establish permanent, long-term water use efficiency, MNWD proactively implemented an innovative water budget-based rate structure in 2011, which encourages conservation by providing customers with calculated water budgets based on efficient indoor and outdoor usage.

“The release of the long-term efficiency framework helps strengthen what Moulton Niguel Water District is already practicing with its customers,” said MNWD Board President Donald R. Froelich. “The drought has reminded us that water is a precious, limited, and scarce resource, and this is the ‘new normal’ for California. Using water efficiently and managing the infrastructure that delivers water to our homes and businesses must be top priority as we look ahead to ensure future water reliability for our customers.”

MNWD and its customers have responded well over the years and have achieved extraordinary efficiency milestones, such as:

  • 95% of MNWD’s single-family residents remained within their water budgets in March 2017, which is the most efficient MNWD customers have been since water budgets were implemented in 2011
  • Over 5 million square feet of turf has been removed in the MNWD service area over the last 5 years
  • Since 2013, MNWD has saved over $5 million from reducing water use

MNWD encourages its customers to use water wisely, and remain in their water budgets. The District also continues to offer resources, rebates and information to help its customers make conservation a California way of life.

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