Ventura declared a Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency on Sept. 22, 2014, requiring a mandatory 20 percent cutback in water use from all residents. (Read about the Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency and Ventura’s water-use prohibitions here: http://www.cityofventura.net/water/waste and here: http://www.cityofventura.net/water/rates)
At an April 29 Town Hall meeting, Ventura Water General Manager Shana Epstein shared the many ways Ventura Water and the City of Ventura have sought to educate and inform customers about the drought, the City’s response, and the need to conserve water, as well as enforcement efforts. (Figures are as of late April 2015.)
- 500 notification letters have been sent to Ventura Water customers reported for wasting water. (Report water waste by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 667-6500 with the address and information about the problem.)
- Ventura Water has issued 42 warning notices to alleged violators.
- Ventura Water has issued $25 fines to seven customers in violation.
- Ventura Water has conducted 136 single-family home water surveys to help residents learn ways to conserve.
- 300 large water users have all been contacted in an effort to educate them about reducing use.
- Ventura Water has contacted all schools in the Ventura Unified School District and Ventura College to ask them to conserve.
- Ventura Water last fall created an all-volunteer Water Shortage Task Force (http://www.cityofventura.net/water/taskforce), which held monthly public meetings and evaluated a range of water issues, culminating with recommendations for action to the Ventura City Council.
How has Ventura Water shared its news and information with customers and the pubic?
- Informational notices inserted in your water bill.
- The Ventura Water monthly e-newsletter Pipeline, delivered by email to about 5,400 recipients. (Subscribe to the Pipeline here! http://www.cityofventura.net/water/pipeline)
- Articles or ads in local print media such as the My Ventura magazine, the Ventura Breeze, the VC Reporter and the Ventura County Star newspaper, and seeking media coverage.
- Social Media: Twitter, Facebook and the Ventura Water blog. Ventura Water has over 1,000 social media followers. Sign up to follow our blog today!
- Ventura Water’s YouTube channel.
- Ventura Water co-sponsors free water-wise classes held throughout the year on timely topics like composting and rainwater harvesting.
- Ventura Water posts extensive information and updates about the drought and what it’s doing on the Ventura Water website, venturawater.net.
- Ventura Water hosts Town Hall meetings for the public such as the two-hour Town Hall held in Ventura on April 29 and attended by about 80 citizens.
Reminder: A public hearing on the proposed new water shortage rates and codifying the Water Shortage Stages is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 8. in the Ventura City Council Chambers, 501 Poli Street, Ventura. Public comments are welcome.