In the News

Santa Cruz city officials say first month of water rationing was successful

KION/46, 6/4/14

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Santa Cruz city officials say the first month of water rationing appears to have been successful.

The city's Water Department on Tuesday released results from the month of May.

The community’s efforts to conserve are measured three different ways: daily water production, the level of Loch Lomond Reservoir, and San Lorenzo River flows.

Despite average temperatures that were about four degrees above normal and high temperatures averaging seven degrees higher than usual, residents were still able to basically meet goals for water use reduction.

“Our production goal for May was 8.2 million gallons of water per day,” said Rosemary Menard, the city's water director. "We averaged 8.3 million gallons per day and considering the heat in May- that’s an accomplishment to be proud of.”

Under normal water conditions, daily production in May ranges between ten and eleven million gallons per day.

To stay within May's production goal, no water could be drawn from the reservoir for drinking water.

Meanwhile, the San Lorenzo River continues to be at record low flows, requiring some water to be drawn from the reservoir to support endangered fish habitats.

The success of the rationing program itself will be measured by overage penalties that will be applied to customers’ May bills. May bills will be mailed to customers beginning June 12. Water conservation enforcement staff logged 85 “first notice” cases of water waste in May. Of those, 22 have been corrected and no one was fined in May.

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