Just a couple of weeks ago, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) took action easing statewide water conservation rules that have been in place for more than a year because of the drought.
Acknowledging that water conditions in many parts of the state have improved, the State Water Board voted to eliminate the statewide 25 percent water savings approach and, in its place, are new rules that give water agencies like Roseville local control over conservation.
What does the new approach mean for Roseville?
Based on a water supply versus demand calculation now required, Roseville water customers will no longer have a state-mandated water use reduction target beginning June 1.
However, we are requesting customers to continue to use water efficiently by maintaining a 10 percent voluntary reduction goal through January 2017 and we have specific water efficiency requirements and recommendations to help meet that goal.
This voluntary reduction goal acknowledges that even though water supply conditions have improved locally, there are still areas within our state where drought conditions remain. Not to mention, we must be aware that one above average year of rainfall doesn’t protect us from future dry years, particularly as Folsom Lake will become even more important this year to help manage fisheries and water quality flows in the Lower American River and in the Delta.
Water use efficiency continues
Even with the voluntary 10 percent goal, statewide efficiency rules are still in place that prohibit washing down sidewalks with a hose instead of using a broom or a brush, or overwatering a landscape to where water is running off the lawn, over a sidewalk and into the gutter. Programs and rebates will continue at the same funding levels, so contact our water efficiency staff for more information.
Since outdoor water use continues to be the highest use in our area, we are recommending that customers’ watering schedule match the seasons.
Between May and August, Roseville water customers are encouraged to maintain a three-day-per-week watering schedule for lawns.
Drip irrigation is exempt from watering day recommendations.
Under all watering rules, outdoor watering can only occur after 8 p.m. or before 10 a.m.
Statewide long-term water use efficiency rules expected in 2017
Coupled with the recent State Water Board action, the Governor has ordered the Department of Water Resources to develop a long-term approach that increases statewide water efficiency. Starting this summer, Roseville will engage in the development of these new proposed rules slated to be put into law in 2017. With this in mind, it is imperative that our community maintain its commitment to always use water efficiency, regardless whether it is wet or dry.