Congratulations! Year-to-Date Water Use Exceeds 20% Reduction Target!

New figures show that customer water use was down 38 percent last month (August) compared to August 2013, allowing Ventura Water to exceed our MiFHyajnpdldkAX7Us6eCCjXjcrNWKAupc1c2P1f1uUy1O3w_0m6zzBDy3By8gNeEwhiB8ZVFkXfAh9u3vpkGCJhvgBFLA1V7K1TiILxcSxZwVh7ySmo5bfjV_OMZQiViE4E4ETdTTy9Bi6LA6GL1ysU_YRdoP0UHMxLph0=s0-d-e1-ft20 percent annual water reduction goal for the year so far!

By the end of August, the year-to-date reduction in water use by our customers was almost 23 percent! August was the second consecutive month that our water use reduction target has been met or exceeded, demonstrating again that Ventura Water customers are committed to meeting the challenges of conserving water.

Remember: Ventura declared a Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency requiring customers to reduce water use by 20 percent. (See the details here.)

Ventura Water offers free water conservation aids and on-site commercial and residential water surveys to help our customers save water. Use the New Water Calculator tool to help schedule your irrigation timers more efficiently. Learn more by clicking here. Please contact Customer Care at myvtawater@cityofventura.net or call (805) 667-6500 to schedule a water survey.

From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, September 2015

Does your water taste, smell or look different? Summer 2015 Algae Bloom in Lake Casitas

 

lake_casitasThe Cities of Ventura and Ojai and surrounding areas that rely on water from Lake Casitas are experiencing a change in color (and/or odor and taste changes) of their drinking water. When lake water levels are low, as they currently are, and the fact that temperatures are higher than usual, this causes water oxygen levels to drop and Manganese is released from sediment at the bottom of the lake causing the water to look slightly yellowish or brownish in color.  Changes in odor and taste are caused by an algae bloom in Lake Casitas, not a seasonal “lake turnover” event which happens regularly twice a year. Casitas Water Department is implementing algae control measures to reduce algae bloom.

These changes in color, taste and odor are completely normal seasonal occurrence amplified by drought conditions.

Residents should not be concerned, as all water delivered from Lake Casitas is filtered and disinfected to meet state and federal drinking water standards and the water from the lake continues to surpass drinking water health standards.

These changes in water color, taste and odor usually only lasts a few weeks.  Refrigerating the water, and/or adding lemon may minimize the unpleasant taste and odor.

For more information, visit:  http://www.casitaswater.org

Ventura Water Unveils VenturaWaterPure Potable Reuse Demonstration Facility

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Left to Right: Ventura City Manager Mark Watkins, Ventura Water General Manager Shana Epstein and Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the VenturaWaterPure Potable Reuse Demonstration Facility on Thursday, July 16, 2015.

Ventura Water Unveils VenturaWaterPure Potable Reuse Demonstration Facility – To Find out more and to book a FREE tour, visit: http://cityofventura.net/water/sustainable-water

To view more EVENT PHOTOS, CLICK HERE.

WATCH the Sustainable Ventura News Story below:

Cooler May Temperatures Led to Lower Water Use in May

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New figures show that water use by Ventura Water customers was 28.12 percent lower last month (May) compared to May 2013. We believe the large reduction in water use during May is largely due to the late rain we experienced and cooler-than-average temperatures during most of the month. We appreciate how our customers responded to the cooler weather by lowing their water use!
 
The year-to-date reduction in water use by customers overall by the end of May still fell short of our 20 percent goal, however. Year-to-date, water use overall by Ventura Water customers is down 13.12 percent compared to the same time this year in 2013.
 
Ventura is in a Stage 3 Water Emergency requiring customers to reduce water use by 20 percent. Please keep trying to reduce use and make water conservation a lifestyle! Let’s hit that 20 percent goal for the entire year to date!
 
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.) A new rebate incentive program to encourage lawn removal is coming as well.
 
Ventura Water offers free water conservation aids and on-site residential water surveys to help our customers save water. Use the New Water Calculator tool to help schedule your irrigation timers more efficiently. Learn more by clicking here. Please contact Customer Care at myvtawater@cityofventura.net or call (805) 667-6500 to schedule a water survey.

From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, June 2015

Fourth Year of Drought: What you can do?

DroughtMany of Ventura Water customers are already conserving and the City thanks you for your continued efforts.  This water shortage has been a multi-year drought, which is not unprecedented. California’s drought in the 1990s lasted seven years.

Since conservation has been encouraged to be a way of life, the new Water Shortage Rates adopted by the City Council on June 8, 2015, do not establish an allocation, but rather build upon the existing tiered structure to encourage further conservation. Customers will see a comparison on their Ventura Water utility bill in July or August. This bill will show a side-by-side comparison of what a customer used and owes with the existing three-tier structure on the right side of the bill. On the left side of the bill, the customer will see what the same usage will be charged under the new four-tier Water Shortage Rates that take effect Sept. 1

Customers can prevent having their bills go up by conserving. Ventura Water hopes that this notification will give customers time to make decisions about how much water they would like to use for the rest of the summer and fall months.

Customers will also notice on their July/August bill, the first tier has been split into two so that the new tier one, which is 0 to 6 units (one unit equals 748 gallons) is not expected to conserve at all. The customer committee who recommended this first Tier was concerned about small users who were already conserving. At the same time, the committee recognized everyone needs to conserve something in order maximize the City’s diminishing supplies. Tier 2, which is 7 to 14 units for a single family residential customer, is expected to save but not as much as Tier 3 and Tier 4, which are primarily used for outdoor irrigation. 

Since September of 2014, the City has asked all customers to only irrigate two days a week and not between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. A single-family residence home uses up to 60 percent of their water outdoors. So to reach 20 percent water savings, a household can do so without going to extreme indoor restrictions. The City has collectively saved over 20 percent the months when we have had rainy and cool weather. Those are the months that people instinctively turn off their sprinklers and do not hose water. 

Why change the rate structure at all during a water shortage? First, the city seeks to insure that the community conserves so we have enough water while supplies continue to diminish during this drought. Second, important infrastructure improvements and the replacement of very old pipes and facilities would be delayed when revenues fall with decreased water sales. Seventy-five percent of Water Operations have fixed costs regardless of whether one drop or millions of gallons of water are delivered.  Ventura Water’s salary and benefits total only a quarter of the overall budget. Most expenses come from infrastructure improvements that keep the water system up and running. In contrast, 75 percent of revenues come from water usage to encourage customers to use water efficiently. So, these new rates keep the water utility revenue neutral and fiscally sound during a shortage. This helps Ventura Water maintain progress for the future and allows us to bring an incentive program that will roll out this summer.

For more conservation tips or to request a free water survey visit us at www.venturawater.net or call 805-667-6500.

From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, June 2015

Keeping You Informed

Ventura declared a Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency on Sept. 22, 2014, requiring a mandatory 20 percent cutback in water use from all SaveourWaterresidents. (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 myvtawater@cityofventura.net 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.

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Water Shortage Stages Explained

What are Ventura’s Water Shortage Stages and what do they mean?

On July 21, 2014, the Ventura City Council approved a 13-member, all-volunteer Water Shortage Task Force (learn more about it here: http://www.cityofventura.net/water/taskforce). Task Force members developed policy considerations for the city’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan. This effort included identifying water shortage emergency stages and water-use reduction targets based on water supply conditions. The plan details actions the city and customers would have to take at each stage.

Deepening drought conditions have led to the need for Water Emergency Stages as a way of responding to dwindling water supplies and responsibly managing our increasingly limited water resources. Ventura is currently in Stage 3, and has been since September 2014. A higher stage would be declared if water resources continue to decline and the need to conserve becomes even greater. Moving to a higher stage can be avoided or delayed if customers conserve more!

There are six stages:

  • Stage 1 (Advisory): Voluntary cutback in water use of 10 percent. Annual supply projection is 10 percent below normal year supply projection.
  • Stage 2 (Moderate): Mandatory cutback in water use of 10 percent. Annual supply projection is 10-19 percent of normal year supply projection.
  • Stage 4 (Severe): Mandatory cutback in water use of 30 percent. Annual supply projection is between 30-39 percent of normal year supply projection.
  • Stage 5 (Severe): Mandatory cutback in water use of 40 percent. Annual supply projection is between 40-49 percent of normal year supply projection.
  • Stage 6 (Critical): Mandatory cutback in water use of 50 percent. Annual supply projection is below 50 percent of normal year supply projection.

What happens at each stage? Here are some of the major points:

  • In Stages 2 & 3: reduce watering for visitor areas of the city; reduce sports field watering; fountains can not operate unless the water recirculates; use recycled water for parks and landscaping; and send written notices to all development project applicants. Customers must fix water leaks within 48 hours; not knowingly waste water; and limit outdoor irrigation to two days a week between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.
  • In Stage 4: The city must enforce mandatory water consumption goals and allocations for all customers. New development that does not have a water supply to serve the project which supplements the city’s water supply will be required to offset any impact to water supply if they wish to continue the entitlement process during a water shortage event. Customers must comply with mandatory conservation rules.
  • In Stage 5: The city must enforce mandatory water consumption goals and allocations; limit outdoor watering to one day per week; and prepare a resolution for the City Council to consider directing the Community Development Department to stop processing development approvals in order to conduct a public hearing on water allocation to development applications. Customers must comply with conservation rules.
  • In Stage 6: No outdoor watering using potable water is allowed; all water use not needed for health and safety is prohibited; the issuance of any new development approvals and new water connections other than those that state law requires to be is suspended. (Building permits that do not create the need for more water or are for emergencies, public safety and water conservation may be exempted.) Customers must comply with mandatory conservation rules. The filling of swimming pools is prohibited; outside watering is prohibited unless for the preservation of health and safety; watering with hand-held five-gallon buckets is allowed to preserve vegetable gardens or fruit trees.

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.

 

 

 

Green your laundry for water savings

Woman Emptying Filling Washing Machine Model Released

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, washing and drying your laundry is one of the most energy- and water-intensive chores in the home.  Through cleaning, maintenance and the purchase of environmentally-friendly products YOU can SAVE on ENERGY, REDUCE WATER USE and IMPROVE the INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN YOUR HOME!.  READ MORE.

Visit:  VenturaWater.net and VenturaWater.org