Stage 3 Water Supply Shortage Extended Through 2017 & 2018
The Board of Directors voted to approve Resolution 17-05 declaring a continued Stage 3 Water Supply Shortage and Emergency Water Rates at their regularly scheduled meeting on April 4, 2017. Soquel Creek Water District has been in Stage 3 since 2014 due to our community’s long-term groundwater supply shortage, compounded by drought in years 2012-2015.
The basis for the continued Stage 3 declaration is the fact that our groundwater supply is in overdraft due to historical over-pumping, and seawater intrusion is being detected in monitoring wells at our coastline. If seawater reaches groundwater production wells, they become contaminated, resulting in either abandoning wells or installing costly treatment systems. As a result, in 2014 the Board of Directors declared a Groundwater Emergency and the State Department of Water Resources designated the basin as critically overdrafted.
Thanks to our community’s successful water-efficiency efforts, we achieved a 29% savings last year. Maintaining the current level of conservation will help us continue to protect our groundwater while we develop new water sources. Stage 3 restrictions will remain in place until rescinded by the Board.
Our conservation goal in 2017 & early 2018 is to collectively use 25% less water than in 2013. To achieve this goal, we are suggesting an annual average water use guideline of 50 gallons per person, per day.
Continued Stage 3 Measures for 2017:
- Stage 3 Emergency water rates continued from 2016 Stage 3 declaration.
- Efficient Water Use Guideline: During the Stage 3 Water Shortage in 2017 and early 2018, efficient water use is defined as an annual average of 50 gallons per person, per day. This is a general guideline only as each household is unique. Customers can use the redesigned monthly water bills to track how they’re doing and do their part to help our community continue achieving its conservation goal.
- Car Washing Restriction: Use of a recycled water car wash is preferred however, vehicles may be washed at home if done efficiently. Water should not run off of the property, where possible. Efficient car washing includes any of the three methods: a waterless spray, a bucket and hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle, and/or a pressure washer. All methods should minimize water running off of the property.
- Exterior Structure Washing Restriction: No exterior washing of structures unless for sanitation and health purposes, or if preparing to paint or stain and a pressure washer is used.
- Save Water Signage Requirement: Businesses and institutions must display provided signage encouraging conservation and reporting of water waste.
In addition, enforcement continues of our water waste ordinance, which is always in effect year-round. Thank you for continuing your efforts to use water efficiently!
On April 7, 2017 California Governor Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-40-17 ending the drought stage of emergency in all California Counties, except Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Tuolumne where where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies. It maintains water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices.
The order was built on actions taken in Executive Order B-37-16, "Making Conservation a Way of Life" which remains in effect. The Governor’s latest drought-related executive order established a new water use efficiency framework for California. Soquel Creek Water District is already meeting or exceeding the governor's orders due to our long-term groundwater shortage. The District sends required monthly reports to the State.
Stage 3 Water Shortage Links and Resources
Melanie Schumacher, Associate Manager, Special Projects