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 or call (805) 667-6500 to schedule a water survey.

From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, September 2015

Ventura Water Announces VenturaWaterPure Demonstration Facility – SIGN UP FOR A FREE TOUR


Ventura Water unveiled its new VenturaWaterPure Potable Reuse Demonstration Facility to distinguished guests on July 16 and opened the facility for regular public tours beginning on Saturday, July 18.

Ventura Water invites all members of the public to sign up for an in-depth tour of the Potable Reuse demonstration facility. Tours are every Saturday from 9-11 a.m. and are limited to 20 people per tour. Private groups interested in weekday tours can also be accommodated with advanced notice. Please sign up before noon of the Friday before the tour by clicking here or call (805) 677-4131.

VenturaWaterPure is a pilot project for the City of Ventura, which is investing in safe and sustainable ways to meet long-term water supply demands by increasing the use of recycled water. Ventura currently provides recycled water from the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility to two golf courses and landscape irrigation in the Ventura Harbor and Olivas Drive areas. Adding “potable reuse” purification technologies at the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility will extend Ventura’s use of local water sources – a proven, drought–resistant, locally developed and reliable way to be smart about water use!

There are many benefits of potable reuse in Ventura:

•          Locally controlled, reliable water supply
•          A sufficient supply to support the economy
•          A high-quality water supply
•          Reducing wastewater discharge
•          Seawater intrusion protection
•          A more diversified water supply portfolio
•          Increased water supply at a lower cost than imported water
•          Reduced impact on groundwater and river sources

Ventura Water is far from the only water agency in California seeking ways to improve water supply by leveraging wastewater resources. The multi-barrier water purification process has already been successfully used by San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties. Ventura Water has been investigating options for additional water reuse for many years as well. Studies have shown that potable reuse will have the largest benefit for Ventura. Ventura Water has chosen to partake in a nationwide study that evaluates blending options with other water resources prior to the delivery of drinking water to customers. Benefits in exploring this option include achieving a more diversified and sustainable water supply; improving water quality by blending ultra-pure water with high mineral content groundwater sources; and complying with the Santa Clara River Estuary Consent Decree because potable reuse enables the city to reduce the amount of treated wastewater discharged to the estuary.

For more tour information, click here.

Learn more about water re-use in Ventura here.

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

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

From Ventura Water’s July 2015 Pipeline

Ventura Water Unveils VenturaWaterPure Potable Reuse Demonstration Facility


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:


WATCH the Sustainable Ventura News Story below:

Ventura County Star: Sing in the shower, but for no more than 5 minutes!

Sing in the Shower, but for no more than 5 minutes to save water with “Hey Ventura, What’s Your Shower Song?” campaign!  READ the story in Ventura County Star.

Tell us your favorite shower song, POST the name and/or YOUR VIDEO OF YOU SINGING YOUR FAVORITE SONG at


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 or call 805-667-6500.

From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, June 2015

Applicants Sought for NEW City of Ventura Water Commission, Deadline to apply is February 23, 2015


For Immediate Release
January 14, 2015
Contact: Shana Epstein, 805-652-4518
Lysa Urban, 805-677-3914

Applicants Sought for New City of Ventura Water Commission, deadline to apply is February 23

The Ventura City Council is seeking qualified applicants to serve on the city’s newly created advisory Water Commission. Water Commission Applications are available now at the City Clerk’s office, Ventura City Hall, 501 Poli Street, Ventura or online at, and will be accepted through February 23, 2015.

The new Water Commission is part of Ventura Water’s ongoing public outreach and education effort. The commission’s seven-member group will review and make advisory recommendations regarding water rates, water resource infrastructure projects, dedication and in-lieu fee requirements, water supply options and other resources issues.

Mayor Cheryl Heitmann says, “City Council established this new Water Commission to make advisory recommendations because we value the partnership and participation of our community members. This commission is one of the many ways in which our Ventura residents have a voice in their local government.”

Four water industry experts or professionals and three general representatives who are interested in, or have knowledge of water issues will serve on the commission. Since water professionals may not be able or willing to commit to four-year terms, these members will be appointed for two-year terms; the three general members will be offered four-year terms. The water professionals are not required to live in the city of Ventura or the Ventura Water service area. The three general members do not have to live in Ventura, but they must live in Ventura Water’s service area.

The Water Commission will meet monthly, with the first meeting to be held this spring. All meetings are open to the public.

Currently, 13 members of the public are volunteering to serve on Ventura Water’s Water Shortage Task Force (learn more at to implement a Water Shortage Contingency Plan for Ventura Water and work on other water policy issues. The Water Shortage Task Force, which held its first meeting on Aug. 13, 2014, wraps up its work with a final meeting on Wednesday, January 14 at 6 p.m.


2014 Green School and Watershed Hero Award Winners

In celebration of America Recycles Day, and in an ongoing effort to support local environmental efforts, on Monday, December 15, 2015, at the start of the City Council meeting, Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann presented the 2014 Green School Award to Lincoln Elementary School, and the 2014 Watershed Hero Award to Loma Vista Elementary School on behalf of the City of Ventura’s Environmental Sustainability Division, Ventura Water, E.J. Harrison & Sons and Agromin Premium Soil Products.

For the past eight years, the Green School Award has been presented to a deserving Ventura school that has demonstrated exemplary efforts in helping to preserve the sustainability of our environment. This year, Lincoln Elementary School was chosen for their active recycling efforts, which include a thriving CRV/Beverage Recycling Collection program that raises funds for their school, and for their Food Waste Composting and Recycling Program that helps to keep waste and trash out of the landfill. Other eco-friendly programs at Lincoln include a garden food-producing program providing produce for the students to take home and continuing student /faculty environmental education efforts.

For the second year in a row, The Watershed Hero Award was presented to Loma Vista Elementary for converting their school front entryway into a water wise Ocean Friendly Garden complete with a roof rainwater capture system, bioswales and drought tolerant plants.

“Both Lincoln Elementary and Loma Vista Elementary show commitment to our city, community and school district by continuing to preserve and enhance Ventura’s beautiful and natural environment,” said Mayor Heitmann. “We’re extremely grateful to our award sponsors, E.J. Harrison & Sons and Agromin Premium Soil Products as well as Ventura Water for supplying the schools with cash prizes and the beautifully crafted glass awards.”


Leading By Example: The Ventura City Fire Department

In this segment of Sustainable Ventura News, the Ventura City Fire Department talks about their sustainable operating practices.

Watch Sustainable Ventura News at Ventura County Star online (SEARCH “Sustainable Ventura News) also WATCH on the NEWS and LIFESTYLE pages and in the VC STYLE COLUMN.

Sustainable Ventura TV News is reported by Maryann Ridini Spencer and airs on Caps-TV VTV’s Channel 15, Thursdays at 8:30pm. It rebroadcasts Monday-Thursday and Saturdays at 9:00am, Sundays at 8:30pm and every other Wednesday at 8:30pm.

Visit:, and http://SustainableVentura.TV


FREE Water Surveys Offered to Residential Customers


Ventura Water is helping residential customers find ways to save water by offering free on-site water surveys. The Residential Water Survey program is a free service to help single-family customers save water inside and outside the home. The survey, generally about one hour long and conducted by a Water Conservation Specialist, includes:

  • A review of your water bill
  • Instructions on how to read your water meter
  • An indoor survey of toilets, showers and faucets for leaks
  • An outdoor survey of grass type and identifying irrigation system leaks
  • Free water-saving devices like low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators
  • Water-saving advice based on your home results

Customers will receive a summary checklist at the end of the survey. To schedule a survey, contact Customer Care at (805) 667-6500 or

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From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, October 2014 Issue