While both San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley's water districts have adopted goals of reducing water usage by 20 percent, residents of the San Lorenzo Valley will be subject to a series of mandatory measures to attempt to reach that goal.
According to SLVWD District Manager Jim Mueller, the district's board of directors approved a resolution on March 6, declaring the existence of a water shortage emergency in the San Lorenzo Valley.
“(The board) determined that conditions are such that we might not be able to satisfy all the demands,” Mueller said, adding that water usage in the San Lorenzo Valley typically doubles in the summer months compared to the winter.
Effective May 1, Stage 2 conditions for a water shortage emergency will be in effect, he said.
The second of four possible stages, Stage 2 places restrictions on certain uses of water at certain times of the day — particularly at outdoor uses.
“Everything is geared towards outdoor water,” Mueller said. “Stage 2 is not rationing — it's weather use restrictions.”
According to the restrictions, customers will be prohibited from using water to wash down hard or paved surfaces, and irrigating will be banned between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. — with the exception of watering cans and drip systems
Customers will be allowed to use water outdoors on three designated days per week, and will be determined by whose addresses end in odd or even numbers.
Even-numbered addresses will be able to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, while odd-numbered ones can water on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
Monday, Mueller said, is a “watering holiday.”
The rules will remain in effect, he said, “until the board rescinds the emergency.”
For its part, the Scotts Valley Water District has not enacted any mandatory water usage restrictions.
According to District Manager Piret Harmon, between Scotts Valley's recycled water systems and the fact that most of Scotts Valley's water is drawn from groundwater — as opposed to surface water — there would not be any mandatory restrictions.
The recent rainfalls were particularly helpful, she said, upping the rainfall total to 50 percent of the average total.
“We got enough rain that we’re out of the worst-case scenario,” Harmon said.
Despite the encouraging rainfall, she said, the district is still keeping a close eye on the situation.
“We're asking everyone to do their fair share to reduce water usage by 20 percent,” Harmon said. “Every month the board will evaluate our water supply situation and make the decision going forward.”
She said that the district was soon planning to revisit rebate programs that would encourage conservation and open new ways to allow rainwater to reach underground aquifers.
For more information, visit www.slvwd.com or www.svwd.org