Stage 2 Water Shortage: Water Use Reductions up to 20%
California has now experienced two (2) back-to-back dry winters (2019-20 and 2020-2021). In fact, last winter tied for the third driest in more than a century of record keeping. As a result, flow conditions in Carmichael Water District’s (District) primary supply source, the American River, have been significantly reduced. In addition the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) notified the District to stop diversions of water from the American River under the District’s water right licenses and permit. In response to the SWRCB’s curtailment notice and associated impacts, the District’s Board of Directors has declared a Water Shortage Emergency Condition. As part of the declaration, the District is calling for a 10% to 20% reduction in water use per stage 2 of the District’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP). The District maintains a WSCP for use during drought periods or times of supply shortages. The plan serves as a guide for the District in responding to water supply shortages and responding to regional and statewide impacts from drought conditions while maintaining water quality, safe operating conditions, and fire flow capability.
The District is asking customers to do their part by following the WSCP Stage 2 mandatory requirements. The requirements are as follows:
- Unnecessary and wasteful uses of water are prohibited.
- No water runoff from property allowed.
- All water plumbing, fixtures, or heating or cooling devices must not be allowed to leak or discharge. All known leaks must be repaired within seven (7) days or less depending on the severity of the leak.
- Free flowing hoses are prohibited for any use, all hoses must have an automatic shut-off control nozzle capable of completely shutting off the flow of water.
- Car washing must use a bucket and hose with an automatic shut-off control nozzle.
- Washing down impervious surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks is prohibited unless for public health and safety purposes.
- All pools, spas, decorative or ornamental fountains, ponds and water features must be equipped with a recirculation pump and maintained leak free. Internal and external water leaks must be repaired within seven (7) days or less depending on the severity of the leak.
- New landscape installations should be limited to drought-tolerant plants and natives.
- All landscapes must be watered during cooler morning or evening hours to reduce evaporation and minimize landscape runoff. No watering allowed between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- Keep watering of lawns and landscaping to only three (3) days a week.
- Odd number addresses – Outdoor watering is limited to Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
- Even number addresses – Outdoor watering is limited to Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
- No watering allowed on Monday.
- Trees, shrubs, and vegetables may be watered any day by means of drip irrigation, soaker hoses with timer, or hand watering.
- No irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation.
- Repetitive violators will be subject to penalties and fines.
With these water conservation requirements comes new challenges; and District representatives are available to assist customers with this transition. The District offers free Water Efficiency Surveys for both interior and exterior water use. These surveys help in identifying leaks and offer free water efficient devices such as high efficiency sprinklers and shut off nozzles. In addition staff is available to help set irrigation timers for optimal efficiency. District customer can receive a free Water Efficiency Survey by calling call (916) 483-2452 or stopping by our office located at 7837 Fair Oaks Blvd.
If conditions worsen, Carmichael Water District will likely implement more restrictive measures and drought stages. As drought conditions continue, now is the time to use less water in our homes, businesses and landscapes.