Carlsbadistan Saves NorCal & Colorado’s Water

by The Editors on February 24, 2010

Cali Aqud
Gulp, gulp, gulp. . .

Just a little reminder from the Carlsbad Municipal Water District: thanks for being nice and conserving more than the eight percent that was requested. You know, the water has a long journey to get here and we should treat it well.

Carlsbad relies on water from the Colorado River and Northern California for 100 percent of its supply. California has faced severe water shortages due to a prolonged drought and legal restrictions on water pumped from Northern California. Recent local rain doesn’t help much because most of it runs off into the ocean and cannot be captured for future use.

Thanks, Northern California. Come visit anytime.
Water district officials praise conservation efforts,
prepare for more rate increases from suppliers

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Residents and businesses in the Carlsbad Municipal Water District service area have saved even more water than the 8 percent requested by regional water officials, according to the latest figures. It’s a good thing since Southern California’s water supplier is planning yet another increase to the cost of water, which eventually must be passed along to customers.

“Our customers have exceeded our expectations when it comes to saving water,” said Glenn Pruim, utilities director for the City of Carlsbad. “We would like to say, ‘thank you, and keep up the good work’.”

On average, from July to December 2009, Carlsbad Municipal Water District customers saved 14 percent over the same period last year. In July 2009, the district declared a level two drought alert, which triggered new mandatory conservation measures. In August 2009 a tiered rate structure went into effect to encourage greater water savings. Under the tiered rate system, customers pay one rate for up to 12 units, or 748 gallons, of water. Water used above that amount is billed at a higher rate, similar to how electricity rates are structured.

Carlsbad relies on water from the Colorado River and Northern California for 100 percent of its supply. California has faced severe water shortages due to a prolonged drought and legal restrictions on water pumped from Northern California. Recent local rain doesn’t help much because most of it runs off into the ocean and cannot be captured for future use.

Due to the ongoing water shortage, this spring the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is expected to vote to raise the rates it charges the San Diego County Water Authority for water. The San Diego County Water Authority will in turn raise the rates it charges local water agencies, including those serving Carlsbad.

The Carlsbad Municipal Water District recently completed a study that determined the cost of providing water service to customers. This “base rate” is not expected to change, but the district has no choice but to pass along the increased cost of water to customers.

“We know it’s frustrating for people to conserve more than ever and still pay the same or more each month for water,” said Pruim. “We are doing everything we can to keep rates affordable and to find other water sources like recycled water and desalination.”

The City of Carlsbad has the highest per capita use of recycled water in the county and promotes increased conservation through water audits and rebate programs. The city also installed synthetic turf on athletic fields at Pine Avenue, Poinsettia Community, Stagecoach Community and Aviara community parks and on the event area at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park. For the past 10 years the city has worked with a company called Poseidon Resources to build a seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad.

For Carlsbad Municipal Water District Customers, under the current level two drought alert condition, the following rules are in effect:

Irrigation
§ Water landscaping between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. for up to 10 minutes a station on the following three assigned days a week:
o Homes with odd-numbered addresses: Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
o Homes with even-numbered addresses: Saturday, Monday and Wednesday
o Apartments, condos and businesses: Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Stop water waste from inefficient landscape irrigation, such as runoff, overspray and misdirected sprinklers.
Use a bucket or a hose with a shutoff nozzle when watering landscaped areas with no irrigation system.

Washing
No washing down of hard surfaces, such as driveways, patios, sidewalks and parking lots with a hose, unless necessary to remove safety or sanitation hazards.
Wash vehicles with a bucket and hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle.

Fountains
Stop operating decorative fountains unless they use reclaimed water.

Leaks
Repair all water leaks within 72 hours of notification by the water district.

Restaurants and hotels
Serve water in restaurants only on request.
Offer hotel guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily.

About 85 percent of the City of Carlsbad gets water service from the Carlsbad Municipal Water District, a subsidiary district of the City of Carlsbad. The southeastern part of the city is served by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District and the Vallecitos Water District.

For more information visit the Carlsbad Municipal Water District’s Web page at www.carlsbadca.gov/water or call 760-438-2722.

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