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In fact, earlier this month, California water regulators voted to extend Gov. Jerry Brown’s emergency conservation measures that were adopted last spring, through October 2016.
This coming April, when the California snowpack is typically at its highest level, state officials will revisit the conservation plan. We also should know later this spring to what extent our local conservation efforts need to continue.
(See the State’s extended emergency regulation details here.)
The improved snowpack picture does not help Ventura, which relies on 100 percent local sources for water. Ventura remains in a Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency, requiring customers to reduce water use by 20 percent.
Ventura has started 2016 off by falling short of our conservation mandate for the month of January. In January, Ventura Water customers conserved 15.57 percent. Let’s continue to strive to make water conservation a daily, year-round habit, and reach that 20 percent mark each month.
Here are some ways to make that happen in wintertime. More tips can be found at www.saveourwater.com.
- Change your sprinkler schedule: reduce watering or turn off the sprinklers. Lawns and plants don’t need as much water in the winter. Invest in a weather-based “smart” controller or high efficiency sprinklers.
- Do not water 48 hours before or after a measurable rain event.
- Find and fix leaks now. One way to find leaks is to read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
- Buy a rain barrel to collect and store rain water runoff. Use this water for potted plants or to wash your car, grill or windows. Ventura Water and the City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability Division, in cooperation with Smith Pipe & Supply, are pleased to offer Ventura residents a Channel/Bushman 50-gallon rain barrel at the discounted price of $45 plus tax ($92 retail value). Present this voucher at Smith Pipe & Supply, 3060 Sherwin Ave. in Ventura to receive the discount on up to two rain barrels per customer or residential address. Please bring proof of your City of Ventura residency, such as your Ventura Water or other utility bill. These rain barrels are for non-potable water use only and the program is subject to availability. Click here to learn more and here for a copy of the voucher.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 667-6500 to schedule a water conservation survey.
The vital maintenance of Ventura’s parks and public green spaces through the drought kicked off the Water Shortage Task Force’s Nov. 19 meeting. The 13-member task force watched a presentation by Elena Brokaw, director of the Ventura Parks/Recreation and Community Partnerships Department, on the state of the city’s parklands and the efforts to keep them alive, if not flourishing, through the three-years-and-counting drought. Slides depicted some of the city’s sports, tourist and passive public areas, lush and green before the drought, but parched in recent months.
“We are a very, very active community,” Brokaw noted, “and keeping (our park visitors) safe through the drought is our No. 1 priority.” Aesthetics, while considered a lower priority, is still important, she said. “Letting the grass die is something we do not want to do,” Brokaw said. She added, however, “If the drought continues, we may have to revisit this.”
The task force also discussed possible incentives for Ventura Water customers in light of the city’s mandatory 20 percent reduction in water use. In her presentation on a “Potential Rebate and Incentive Program,” city environmental specialist Jill Santos detailed a plan which would provide customer financial incentives to reduce outdoor water use, including rebates for irrigation efficiency devices as well as a turf replacement incentive program. Ventura is the only city in the tri-county region that does not offer any kind of incentive or rebate to encourage residents to participate in greater water efficiency measures.
Copies of both Brokaw’s and Santos’ presentations, as well as the complete task force meeting agenda, are available at www.cityofventura.net/water/
Shana’s Column in the October 2012 Pipeline
On October 31, before the trick or treating begins, Ventura Water will be hosting a Stakeholder (that includes you) Workshop from 10 a.m. to noon to discuss possible solutions for eliminating or minimizing the water currently released by the Water Reclamation Facility into the Santa Clara River Estuary. We will meet in the Community Room at City Hall.
Why is this important to you?
Last year, the City of Ventura entered into a settlement agreement with Wishtoyo Foundation’s Ventura Coastkeeper Program and Heal the Bay to find a sustainable solution for eliminating or minimizing environmental impacts to the Santa Clara River Estuary. In addition, the permit for discharging to the Santa Clara River Estuary is being processed for renewal with the Regional Water Quality Control Board. As part of Ventura Water’s commitment to all interested parties, we have been hosting Stakeholder Workshops to present data and receive feedback from those voicing opinions. While most of the participants have been those in the wildlife protection or water quality fields, I urge you to attend the workshop to learn about all the possible future uses of this valuable water resource. If you cannot attend, we invite you to follow our progress at cityofventura.net/water/screstudies. For more details about the settlement agreement, including a 10-minute video overview, visit cityofventura.net/water/rivers.
We look forward to you participating in developing Ventura’s water future.
Ventura Water General Manager