The Drought Continues: Action is Needed

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The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) is asking the public to cut back water use even further from 10 percent in 2014 to 15 percent in 2015, because of the continued drought.

If needed, EBMUD is prepared to purchase Sacramento River water from its contract with the federal government to supplement regular water supplies from the Mokelumne River.

The decision to take supplemental supplies has been delayed thanks to: homeowners’ conservation efforts; December rains in the East Bay which added to local reservoirs plus precipitation in the Mokelumne watershed; and modest improvements in the state’s water supply situation, reducing the risk of severe cutbacks to our supplemental supplies.

In fall 2014, the EBMUD Board of Directors sought public input on the potential purchase of supplemental water and drought rates at community meetings held in Walnut Creek, Richmond, Oakland and Castro Valley.

EBMUD reminds residents and businesses that water is too precious to waste. Until further notice, all EBMUD customers are required to:

Limit watering of outdoor landscapes to two times per week maximum and prevents excess runoff;

Use only hoses with shutoff nozzles to wash vehicles;

Use a broom or air blower, not water, to clean hard surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks, except as needed for health and safety purposes;

Turn off any fountain or decorative water feature unless the water is re-circulated.

Here are five simple steps to save 15 percent.

If the idea of cutting back water use further makes your head spin, here are some suggestions.

Rebate redemption. If you are on the market for a new washing machine or toilet, switch to a high-efficiency model and cash in on rebates offered by EBMUD.

Find and fix leaks. Uncover those sneaky leaks and water-wasting fixtures with EBMUD’s free WaterSmart Home Survey Kit.

Do the math. With EBMUD’s home water use calculator you’ll be surprised by how much water you actually use each day.

Goodbye lawn, hello rebate. Make the shift to a sustainable landscape or upgrade to high-efficiency irrigation equipment and qualify for a rebate.

Mulch much? Called a gardener’s best friend, mulch helps soil retain moisture, stifles weeds and beautifies your garden. What else could you want? How about mulch coupons?

Visit the EBMUD WaterSmart Center for even more tools to help conserve water at www.ebmud.com/water-and-wastewater/watersmart-center.

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