Dear Valued Customer,
Last Monday night, the City Council approved a 13-member Water Task Force to represent the community as Ventura Water develops and implements a range of actions to respond to the growing drought. The dry and hot weather is not helping our water situation, and as many of you are aware, the state recently mandated new requirements targeting water waste.
The City of Ventura has a Water Waste Ordinance on the books that was adopted during the 1990s drought. The state regulations and our ordinance include the same prohibitions:
- Watering of outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff to adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots or structures. (Don’t let your sprinklers run so long that the water runs off the grass onto the pavement and don’t let your sprinklers water the pavement.)
- Using a hose to wash an automobile, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle. (By the way, a professional car wash is a better choice, environmentally speaking. A commercial car wash uses only 45 gallons per car and typically recycles the water. Washing at home can use three times the amount of water and the dirt and grime washed off your car can pollute our ocean and beaches.)
- The application of water to any hard surface, including, but not limited to, driveways, sidewalks and asphalt. (Use a broom, not the hose to clean hard surfaces. There are some exceptions for health and safety, such as street sweeping.)
- Using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated.
Ventura’s ordinance has a few more prohibitions that you should be aware of:
- Any leaks should be repaired within 48 hours after being discovered.
- Restaurants should serve water only if requested by the customer. (It takes three glasses of water to provide one glass of drinking water: one to make the ice, one to fill the glass and one to wash the glass.)
All urban water suppliers across California, like Ventura Water, will be enforcing these standards to prevent water from being knowingly wasted. Ventura’s ordinance does not have a $500 fine as a penalty but we will be rolling out a program to educate and enforce water waste prohibitions, along with other efforts to motivate our customers to save water.
These are likely to include incentive programs, drought rates and/or surcharges, as well as community outdoor watering schedules, which will be the purview of the Water Task Force, whose first public meeting will hopefully be in August.
Meanwhile, we encourage you to attend our Drought Informational Meeting on Wednesday, July 30 at 6 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room at City Hall. We thought that a meeting would be the best way to update customers about what’s happening, help explain what all of this looks like down the road, and to answer questions.
Thank you for continuing to do your part to save water during these dry times. For more information, visit us at www.venturawater.net.