Local Water Conservation Efforts Improved in February 2015, Please Keep Up the Efforts!

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The conservation efforts of Ventura Water customers moved closer this February to our 20 percent reduction goal, with new figures showing that water use was down 13.44 percent in February 2015 compared to February 2013.

As you know, the city of Ventura is in a Stage 3 Water Emergency requiring customers to reduce water use by 20 percent. While water use levels have fallen since then, we all need to work toward reducing water use even more.

A good measure of how our customers are doing is to compare this year’s water usage levels to date to those in 2013, before water conservation measures were requested and later, required. (The Ventura City Council first called for voluntary conservation in February 2014.) Comparing January 2015 to January 2013, water use declined by only 4.22 percent.

The February numbers are encouraging, so we are asking you to take it up a notch and help us hit that 20 percent mark! Let’s all make water conservation a lifelong, year-round habit (a lifestyle).

The drought is still in full force, despite some rain this winter. Ventura Water has instituted several mandatory water conservation measures for our customers. They include: sprinkler irrigation systems may run only two days per week between the hours of 6 p.m. to 9 a.m.; handheld hoses used to wash cars must have a shutoff nozzle; fountains must use recycled water; and hosing down hard surfaces like driveways or sidewalks is not allowed. (Using a broom to sweep is a reasonable alternative.)

What else can you do this month to cut use?

  • Minimize outside irrigation even further or turn off your sprinklers. It’s cool outside!
  • Take shorter showers
  • Fix water leaks
  • Install low-flow showerheads now!
  • Spring is the perfect time to replace your old, tired lawn with a beautiful, new water-wise garden, allowing your drought-tolerant plants time to become acclimated before warmer weather arrives.

Ventura Water offers free water conservation aids and on-site residential water surveys to help our customers save water. Learn more by clicking here. Please contact Customer Care at myvtawater@cityofventura.net or call (805) 667-6500 to schedule a water survey.Vwater

From Ventura Water’s March 2015 Pipeline

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4th NATIONAL MAYOR’S CHALLENGE FOR WATER CONSERVATION, APRIL 1-30, 2015

Join the City of Ventura by visiting mywaterpledge.com

Cities nationwide to compete to see who can be most “water wise” 

WIN COOL PRIZES!!

With at least 36 states facing water shortages this year, mayors across the nation will be asking residents to make a commitment to conserve water and cut pollution by participating in a national contest aimed  at drastically slashing water and energy use across the country- and in return, residents can win a new Toyota Prius Plug-in , water saving fixtures, and hundreds of other prizes.

In addition to helping the environment, the mayors earn bragging rights about winning the Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, a non-profit competition, April 1-30, to see which leaders can best inspire their residents to make a series of informative, easy to use online pages to reduce water and energy usage.

How City of Ventura Residents Can Participate

MAKE YOUR PLEDGE TODAY.  IT’S EASY!  HERE’S HOW: 

1.  Go to mywaterpledge.com

2. CLICK ON the Home Page link and Pledge either with your Facebook Account or Email address

3. TYPE in the name of your city — Ventura, Ca & PLEDGE

Cities compete in the following population categories: (5,000 – 29,999 residents, 30,000 – 99,999 residents, 100,000 – 299,999 residents, 300,000-599,999 residents, and 600,000+ residents).  Cities with the highest percentage of residents who take the challenge in their population category are deemed the winner.  Residents from those cities are entered to win an array of environmentally positive prizes.

For more information & Water Tips, visit the City’s Website: CLICK HERE.

Third Annual Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest Announces Winners

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For Immediate Release

March 20, 2015
Craig Jones, 805-223-4378
Shana Epstein, 805-652-4503
Contest Info: Rachael Shapiro, 310-991-9568

Ventura Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest Announces Winners — Community attends free Awards Ceremony in honor of World Water Day

In celebration of World Water Day, Ventura Water announced the winners of its 3rd Annual Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest at a free community event held March 19th at the Century 10 Downtown movie theatre. The top 9 water-focused finalist films were presented, followed by the winners of the Audience Choice Award, the Award for Best Student Film, the Grand Jury Prize and the Ventura Vision Award.

Selected from among the 51 films entered from around the globe, the winners are:

  • The Audience Choice Award, selected online by the public, was given to Jake Raimer, from New Jersey, for his film Protecting our Water: Stormwater Management. Curtis Hopkins, President of Hopkins Groundwater, who co-sponsors this award with Brown and Caldwell, presented the prize, an iPad 2.
  • The Award for Best Student Short Film, chosen by our jury of entertainment and water industry experts, was given to Sean Cruse, from Indiana, for his film Refresh. Sean wins a GoPro camera and was awarded the prize by Lydia Holmes of Carollo Engineers.
  • The Jury awarded Grand Prize was given to Ben Mills, of the UK, for his film Blue Sky, Inc. This award – $1500 – is presented by Ventura Water.
  • The Ventura Vision Award, was given in person to Randy Smith, from Culver City California, for his film Submerged Forest. Akemi Shapiro, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, who sponsors this award, was the presenter. This award recognizes films shot in and around the city of Ventura and the winner will be showcased on an upcoming segment of the CAPS TV show “Sustainable Ventura.”

“California is in a drought and Ventura currently relies on all local water sources,” said Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann. “We must conserve and preserve our resources. This contest focuses attention not only to the current water crisis, but how we have to change our thinking about water in order for our community to continue to be sustainable and thrive.”

Heading into its fourth year, the Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest aims to elevate the value of water by inviting filmmakers from across the globe to submit short films less than five minutes, in any genre (animation, comedy, documentary, drama, experimental, or sci-fi) that address the topic of water. The next contest will kick off this fall. All film entries are available for viewing at www.watertake1.com.

Visit www.facebook.com/watertake1 or www.cityofventura.net/watertake1 for more information.

This release can be found on the City of Ventura’s website at www.cityofventura.net. ###

Water Board Expands and Extends Emergency Water Conservation Regulation

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For Immediate Release

SACRAMENTO — As California enters a fourth year of severe drought, the State Water Resources Control Board Tuesday adopted an expanded emergency regulation to safeguard the state’s remaining water supplies.

“We are experiencing the lowest snowpack an the driest January in recorded history, and communities around the state are already suffering severely from the prior three years of drought,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus.  “If the drought continues through next winter and we do not conserve more — the consequences could be even more catastrophic than they already are.  Today’s action is just a tune-up and a reminder to act, and we will consider more significant actions in the weeks to come.”

While communities and water suppliers have saved substantial amounts of water since the water conservation emergency regulation was first adopted in July 2014, there are may more opportunities for Californians to conserve in even greater amounts.   The expanded emergency regulation captures some of these opportunities while continuing to give urban water suppliers flexibility to take actions that reflect their local conditions as long as they meet the minimum requirements.  The State Water Board strongly encourages water suppliers to do much more than the minimum by the regulation.

Today’s action incorporates lessons learned from implementation of the emergency regulation approved in 2014 and feedback from urban water suppliers and the public.

PROHIBITED WATER USE

Under today’s action, the prohibitions on potable water use, first adopted in 2014, will continue, and new prohibition will go into effect. All Californian’s are now prohibited from:

  • washing down sidewalks and driveways;
  • watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff;
  • washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle;
  • operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of recirculating system; and
  • irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation (new).

(New) Prohibitions affecting commercial businesses include:

  • restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request; and
  • operators of hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily and prominently display notice of this option.

WATER AGENCY REQUIREMENTS

The biggest change for urban water suppliers is the creation of a floor, or minimum standard, for outdoor irrigation restrictions. Urban water suppliers must now limit the number of days per week that customers can irrigate outdoors. The limit must either be specified in their drought contingency plans; or if their plan contains no specific limit, irrigation is limited to no more than two days per week.

Water agencies will also be required to notify customers when they are aware of leaks that are within the customer’s control. Finally, monthly reporting requirements will be expanded to include the limit on days for outdoor irrigation and a description of compliance and enforcement efforts.

For smaller water suppliers, the expanded regulation clarifies that if they choose to implement alternate mandatory measures, in lieu of limiting outdoor irrigation to twice a week, those measures should be designed to achieve a 20 percent reduction in water consumption.

Local agencies can fine property owners up to $500 a day for failure to implement conservation requirements and the State Water Board can issue cease and desist orders against water agencies that don’t impose mandatory conservation measures upon their retail customers. Water agencies that violate the cease and desist orders are subject to civil liability of up to $10,000 a day.

“In a drought this severe, we need to think differently about our daily water use, and need to sacrifice emerald green lawns and other water use luxuries,” Marcus said. “At a time when hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland lie fallow, thousands are out of work, communities are running out of water, and fish and wildlife are devastated, and when locally stored urban water supplies are shrinking, we need to step up the pace of conservation. Water agencies should be motivating customers to take even more responsibility for the amount of water use in homes, backyards, businesses, parks, and everywhere else.”

Following Board adoption, the regulation will be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law, which has 10 days to approve or deny the regulation. If approved by the Office of Administrative Law, the regulation will take effect immediately and remain in effect for 270 days from that date.

For more information, please visit the Emergency Water Conservation website.

Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent and prevent water waste — visit SaveOurH20.org and SaveOurWater.com to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit Drought.Ca.Gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.

Contact: George Kostyrko, gkostyrko@waterboards.ca.gov

READ THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE, CLICK HERE.

RSVP TODAY, FREE Water Wise Gardens Class, Saturday, March 7

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Reserve your seat today for the FREE Water Wise Gardens Class (“Water Wise Gardening and Lawn Alternatives with Lisa Burton), Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 10am to 11:30am at the City of Ventura Public Works Sanjon Maintenance Yard at 336 Sanjon Road, Ventura.waterwise-logo

Rethink the traditional American lawn when you learn about gorgeous turf alternatives and native, climate appropriate plants. In this class, you’ll also find out how to convert your spray irrigation to drip! RSVP: https://waterwisegardens.eventbrite.com

The classes are presented by the City of Ventura, Ventura Water, Ewing and Green Thumb International/Ventura.  Check out the full schedule, click here.

Also visit, cityofventura.net/water/landscape

Listen to the PODCAST from the FREE Water Wise Class:  Ocean Friendly Gardens

Listen to the FREE PODCAST

 

LISTEN TO THE WATER WISE PODCAST with Jill Santos: LISTEN, CLICK HERE.

Call For Water Conservation Continues

Water conservation efforts don’t get a break just because it’s wintertime!SavingWater

This month’s unseasonably warm temperatures all around Southern California mean more trouble for the drought, which is entering its fourth year. Despite the storms in December, January was pretty dry, and it’s usually the wettest month of the year. February is no better. Warm weather has also held down the California snowpack needed to feed streams and rivers, leading to new forecasts that dry conditions will persist this year. Click here to read a recent newspaper article about a pair of new drought forecasts from two federal agencies.

As you know, the city of Ventura last September declared a Stage 3 Water Emergency requiring Ventura Water customers to cut their water use by 20 percent. While water use levels have fallen, they haven’t fallen nearly enough.

Ventura Water customers reduced their water consumption by 7.05 percent in 2014 compared to 2013– nowhere near the mandatory 20 percent. See the full 2013/2014 water usage report here.

A better measure of how Ventura Water customers are doing on conservation is to compare this year’s water usage levels so far to those in 2013- before water conservation measures were requested and later, required. (Remember, the Ventura City Council first called for voluntary conservation in February 2014.)

Comparing January 2015 to the month of January 2013, water use declined by only 4.22 percent.

Let’s strive to make water conservation a daily, year-round habit for everyone! Here are some ways to make that happen in wintertime. More tips can he found at www.saveourwater.com.

  • Change your sprinkler schedule: reduce watering or turn off the sprinklers. Lawns and plants don’t need as much water in the winter. Invest in a weather-based “smart” controller or high efficiency sprinklers which reportedly reduce water use by 30 percent.
  • Find and fix leaks now. One way to find leaks is to read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
  • Replace older 3.5 gallons-per-flush toilets with newer 1.3 gpf models, which can save an average of 10 gallons per day.
  • Buy a rain barrel to collect and store rain water runoff. You can use this water for potted plants or to wash your car. Ventura Water and the city of Ventura offer residents a half-price discount for 60-gallon rain barrels. Get your vouchers by clicking here.VoucherFrom Ventura Water’s Pipeline, February 2015

Water Take: 1 Awards Ceremony is March 19, RSVP NOW for this FREE EVENT

Celebrate and learn about water and conservation with a night at the movies in Ventura!

The 2014 Water: Take 1 (www.watertake1.com) Awards Ceremony is from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at the Century 10 Downtown Movie Theater in Ventura. The event is free and tickets are not required to join the fun, but those interested in attending need to register ahead of time as seating is limited. We hope to see you there!

To register, please email Debra Martinez at dmartinez@venturawater.net. She will add your name to the guest list and email back a confirmation for your attendance. If you have questions please email Debra or call (805) 652-4587.

You may also register by clicking here.Invite

Water: Take 1, presented by Ventura Water, is an important initiative that highlights our relationship with water: how we look at it, how we use it and how we share it. The global online film contest is now in its third year and showcases short films of under five minutes in length that address the topic of water in any genre, including documentary, drama, comedy, animation, sci-fi or experimental.

This year, 51 films were submitted. The ceremony will kick off with a screening of the nine finalist films followed by the exciting announcement of Water: Take 1 winners. Great prizes are offered to winners in various categories. Visit www.watertake1.com to view the films entered this year.

Questions? Email watertake1@cityofventura.net. Learn more at the Water: Take 1 Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/watertake1.

From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, February 2015