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California faces a fourth year of extreme drought, a rebounding economy, and a growing population. In the face of these challenges, Governor Brown has called for a mandatory 25 percent reduction in statewide water use and the State Water Resources Board is requiring MNWD to reduce use by 20 percent to help achieve the statewide target.
What is MNWD doing to meet conservation goals?
To help ensure the District achieves the reduction mandates outlined by the state, MNWD’s Board of Directors adopted a staged implementation to the District’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP), asking first for voluntary and then requiring mandatory water-use reductions. The Board’s decision pertains to both stage one and stage two of the WSCP, requiring that stage one go into effect on June 1 and stage two on July 1.
The District also recently recalculated customer water budgets to encourage conservation, efficient use of water, and improve the reliability of our supplies. Indoor water budgets have been reduced from 65 gallons per person per day to 60 gallons per person per day and outdoor water budgets have been reduced to sustain a mix of California native plants and lawn, not a full lawn. These changes went into effect April 1, 2015.
What does this mean for me?
During stage one of the WSCP, which goes into effect June 1, customers will be asked to voluntarily reduce water use by remaining within their allotted water budgets. During stage two, which goes into effect July 1, customers will be required to remain within their budgets and face a rate penalty if budgets are exceeded. This adopted approach will help MNWD to reduce water use by requiring customers to stay within their updated water budgets.
The Board’s decision reflects the severe nature of the state’s drought, while still allowing customers to manage their own water use, rather than relying on specific use restrictions. To ensure compliance with the newly adopted rules and adjustment to the newly revised rates, MNWD is urging customers to carefully review their water bills, which lists their water budget, and monitor water use to ensure they stay within budget.
What should I do?
MNWD is urging customers to stay within their water budgets at all times. Customers should also consider stepping up their conservation efforts by following the District’s best water management practices and taking advantage of MNWD’s rebate programs, which include: turf removal rebates, synthetic turf installation incentives, smart irrigation controller rebates, and more.
For more information on the drought, new rate changes, and the Water Shortage Contingency Plan, please visit the documents linked below.
For more information on voluntary conservation programs and practices, please visit http://www.mnwd.com/rebates/.