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County Declares Water Shortage, Mandatory Water-Use Restrictions in Effect

The shortage has been declared for Fremont, Newark, and Union City.

Information submitted by the Alameda County Water District—

On March 13, the Alameda County Water District Board of Directors declared a water shortage emergency within Fremont, Newark, and Union City and adopted an ordinance that includes mandatory water-use restrictions.

“The exceptionally dry conditions forced our hand,” noted ACWD Board president Paul Sethy. “Without mandatory conservation, we won’t be able to meet ordinary water demands without depleting our supply or reducing its quality.” 

The bulk of the restrictions relate to landscape irrigation. Lawns and other landscaping may be watered no more than one day per week during the fall, spring, and winter, and no more than two days per week during the summer. Public parks, school grounds, golf courses, and day care centers are allowed one extra day of irrigation per week, as is new drought-tolerant landscaping that replaces irrigated turf. Irrigation while it is raining is prohibited, as is irrigation that results in ponding or excessive runoff. 

Other water use restrictions include prohibitions against hosing off sidewalks and
driveways, using hoses without shut-off nozzles, and the draining and refilling of 
Enforcement of the restrictions will involve a three-step process. Violators will first be sent a written warning via U.S. mail. A second warning will be issued during an on-site visit if violations persist. Continued violations may result in termination of water service. 

Exceptions to the water-use restrictions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

“Our customers have always risen to the task of conserving water during previous
droughts,” said ACWD General Manager Walt Wadlow. “It’s our sincere hope that they’ll respond again as we cope with the worst water supply emergency in the District’s 100 Violations of the mandatory restrictions can be reported to ACWD by calling (510) 668-4299 or visiting www.acwd.org/reportwaste.

California is currently experiencing the driest conditions in its recorded history. The 
Sierra snowpack, which accounts for the bulk of the state’s drinking water, is currently at 28% of normal. The Department of Water Resources has informed ACWD that it will receive 0% of its annual allocation from the State Water Project which typically accounts for 40% of the District’s supply. Additionally, local runoff, which accounts for another 40% of the District’s supply, is currently at only about 33% of normal. 

For information on how to conserve water, visit the Drought Resource Center at 
www.acwd.org or call the Drought Hotline at (510) 668-4470.

Past drought coverage on Patch:
Edward March 18, 2014 at 11:16 PM
The answer is "GRAY WATER". Water that goes down the drain when washing dishes or doing laundry, even taking a shower is "Gray Water". Capture and spread it on your outside vegitation and you will not be fined. The easyest is the Washing machine drain hose in the Garage. Re direct the flow into a 55 gallon refuse can and then Siphon it out onto your lawn. The high phosphate detergent will green up your yeard like nothing else and the detergent will penetrate even th hardes of "Clay Pan" soils. Second easyest is a bucket in the shower or tub while you are waiting for the water to warm up. That water can even be used to drink, but, it is easyer to flush the toilet with it because you don't even have to leave the bathroom. Hand water your valuable pants with Grey water or even fresh water from the gasrden hose but do not attach the sprayer that allows for high evaporation. Install a drip system for even more conservation and $avings. Wash your car on your lawn at night when evaporation is least and don't use the sprayer. (Don't drive over your sprinkler heads). Cutting your usage by 50% and yet still having a green yard can be done.
Salah March 19, 2014 at 03:41 PM
Nice post Edward! very educational, i will start some of that this week.
Nadja Adolf March 19, 2014 at 09:39 PM
Gray water, unless sanitized, contains a high level of bacteria, including E. coli. The idea that one use it except on food plants is dangerous, as the next owner of the house may put their vegetable garden right where you happily contaminated the soil. There is also the matter of salts poisoning the soil from detergents and other products. A simpler approach is to plant only indigenous plants. I water my front yard twice every summer. Indigenous plants do not deal well with drip irrigation - so once a month in the summer I walk outside, set the hose to rain mode, and wet down the leaves, this requires about 10 minutes. My fruit trees and vegetable garden are on drip watering - but my shade tree is deep watered about once every two weeks or so. According to the water district we use about 2/3 of the amount of water used by the average household with our lot size - and that number has gone down since we tracked, found, and resolved a plumbing leak. The first thing everyone should do is turn off all the water using appliances, faucets, etc. and watch the water meter. If it moves, you have a leak. Check it over an hour, marking any changes.
Barbara Kroczak March 20, 2014 at 05:53 PM
"Lawns and other landscaping may be watered no more than one day per week during the fall, spring, and winter, and no more than two days per week during the summer. " When exactly is summer officially?
Jack Torrance March 25, 2014 at 12:48 PM
Summer begins on June 21st Barbara.

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