Mark Your Calendar: Fall Water Wise Classes Announced

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Sign-ups will begin in August for the next series of the FREE, Saturday morning Water Wise classes. Help Ventura become the most water-efficient community in California by learning more about these drought-busting topics:

  • September 20, 2014 ~ Rainwater Harvesting & Laundry-to-Landscape Graywater ~ City Sanjon Maintenance Yard
    Install a rain barrel, redirect your downspout into your new rain garden, install a laundry-to-landscape system and maintain them all properly.
  • October 18, 2014 ~ Composting and Urban Soils ~ Cornucopia Gardens (Telephone Road & Ramelli Avenue) 
    Create healthy backyard mulch, compost and worm castings from your food and yard waste to conserve water, reduce pesticides and revive urban soil.
  • November 15, 2014 ~ Turf Replacement with Water Wise Plants ~ City Sanjon Maintenance Yard
    Remove turf naturally, replace it with native or climate-appropriate plants, convert pop-up spray irrigation to drip irrigation, and re-wild your garden habitats to bring back birds, bees and butterflies.

For more information, visit:  CityofVentura.net/Water/Landscape

From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, July 2014

A red, white and BLUE tip for July 4th!

 

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     Having a July 4th picnic or BBQ? Here’s a red, white and BLUE refreshing tip: Buy a large 5 (or 10) gallon Coleman beverage cooler and fill it with water and slices of fresh lemon and mint and/or homemade ice tea or lemonade! It’s economical and it saves our environment. Don’t forget to serve the beverages with reusable cups! Happy July 4th!

coleman

Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest News

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      Subscribe to #WT1 NewsReel and get a behind-the-scenes look at Ventura’s global film contest all about water. The new issue features our award-winning local filmmakers from CAPS-TV, Professional Filmmaker and WT1 Juror Nicole Torre, and Carollo Engineers, sponsor of the Best Student Short Film Award.

     Submit Your Film: Film submissions are now being accepted for the Third Annual Water: Take 1 Global Online Short Film Contest. Filmmakers – submit your short films (5 minutes or less) with water themes to watertake1.com.

     New this year: Water: Take 1 has extended the prize period deadline. The “Early Bird” deadline is Sept. 15, 2014. “Final deadline” is Nov. 1, 2014.

     New Partners: Water: Take 1 partners with Ojai Film Festival’s Focus Earth (more details to come).

     Let’s Party: Water: Take 1’s new venue for the awards ceremony in March 2015 will be the Century Downtown 10 Movie Theatre located at 555 E. Main St. in downtown Ventura.

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READ OUR PREVIOUS NEWSLETTERS:

NewsReel May/June 2014

NewsReel March/April 2014

GM’s monthly column – June 2014

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 Dear Valued Customer,

As the water shortage continues to dominate the news, I would like to take this opportunity to explain about a little known agency that has an impact on our local water supplies – Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency (FCGMA).  What is this organization and why should you care about it?  This organization acts as the water master to the Oxnard Plain Groundwater Basin, where the city extracts the highest quality groundwater serving Ventura Water’s customers.  FCGMA was created by the state in 1982 to manage local groundwater resources in order to reduce overdraft of the Oxnard Plain Basin and stop seawater intrusion.  In this role, FCGMA allocates to agribusiness landowners and cities how much water they may extract from the basins they oversee.  In addition, FCGMA established a conservation credits program so that pumpers that used less water than their allocation could “bank” the unused water and accumulate “credits.”  Over time, the city used less water within the Oxnard Plain Groundwater Basin and built conservation credits for use when other water resources, such as the Ventura River, were low.

Unfortunately, due to these extraordinary dry years and the lack of accounting for water inflow and outflow in the basins, the FCGMA approved an emergency ordinance in April that restricts extraction from the groundwater basin and suspends the use of conservation credits.   Our allocation was also reduced by 6 percent.

This action is just another reason why Ventura will continue its call for increased conservation this summer and into the fall.  Meanwhile, the city is actively working with other stakeholders of FCGMA to resolve the issues that led to the FCGMA approving this emergency ordinance.  The goal is for the groundwater basins to be a resource when surface water resources are limited.

The agency takes policy direction from a five-member board whose members are appointed from other elected bodies. Lynn Maulhardt is the chairman of the FCGMA board and was appointed by the United Water Conservation District’s board. Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett is the board member representing the county. Ventura Councilmember Neal Andrews serves as an alternate for the one board member who represents cities. The two other members represent the agricultural community and small water districts. All of the FCGMA board meetings are open to the public and I encourage you to attend these meetings if you have an interest in water policy.

Sincerely,

Shana Epstein,
Vent
ura Water General Manager

From Ventura Water’s June 2014 Pipeline

Dry Times = Action

VenturaWaterSavingPlants

Ventura gets 100 percent of its water from local sources – the Ventura River, Lake Casitas and groundwater aquifers. It’s been a dry, warm start to the summer and preliminary water usage reports show that our customers are doing a great job at saving water as requested last February.

 

You may have noticed that brown lawns and more gardens, instead of turf, are showing up all over town as residents take big steps to use less water. If you want to join the lawn alternative trend, there are lots of online resources that offer guidance and great ideas.

 

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Visit:  Ventura.WaterSavingPlants.com and VenturaWater.net and VenturaWater.org

From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, June 2014

New Water Rates Set For July 1

New Water Rates Set For July 1

     After a yearlong public process studying the fiscal stability of Ventura’s water and wastewater infrastructure and services, the City Council approved new rates for the next four years following a public hearing on May 5. Customers will begin to see the higher rates on bills after July 1. Using the same amount of water, the average residential customer is expected to pay about $5 more per month the first year, and $6-$7 more per month the following years. Even with the increases, Ventura Water customers will pay less than a penny for a gallon of water.

     The rates paid by customers for water and wastewater services fund operations, maintenance, debt payments and capital improvements for Ventura’s extensive and aging water and wastewater systems (including replacement of deteriorating pipelines and facilities.) The new rates will help keep our systems reliable as many of our 380 miles of water and 300 miles of wastewater mainlines will reach the end of their lifecycle over the next two decades. In fact, many of the water mains made of cast iron, which comprise 25 percent of our water distribution system, are already failing, resulting in main breaks and service disruptions.

     For more information about the rates and other Ventura Water programs, please visit www.venturawater.net.

From the June 2014 Ventura Water Pipeline