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Water Committee Urges 20 Percent Conservation In Persistent Drought

The Santa Clarita Water Committee met on Tuesday to assess the current drought conditions in the SCV, and to come up with a Water Conservation Action Plan.

The need for water conservation in the Santa Clarita Valley is becoming more urgent, members of the Santa Clarita Water Committee determined on Tuesday.


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The seven-member committee reviewed current conditions, local groundwater supplies on reserve and Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent drought declaration, and developed a Water Conservation Action Plan for the valley.

The California Department of Water Resources also announced on Friday that the 29 agencies contracting with the State Water Project--including the Castaic Lake Water Agency--will receive zero percent of their 2014 water allocations unless precipitation increases.

In November, the DWR initially allocated only five percent of the water requested by the CLWA and other agencies.

Related Article: Driest Year On Record Prompts Low Water Allocation For CLWA

At the time, local officials were optimistic, because California typically receives 75 percent of its annual precipitation between November and March.

“There was a 90 percent chance that that allocation would increase,” said Dirk Marks, CLWA water resources manager and member of the Water Committee. “However, we’ve had a record dry conditions in the state since then. As a result we’ve seen our allocation decrease from five percent to zero percent.”

In spite of this, the SCV will receive some water from the DWR, leftover from last year’s allocation.

“We still have some water left, from what we call carry-over water--unused water from 2013, from the state,” Marks said.

The Santa Clarita Water Committee usually meets quarterly, but Marks said that going forward they will be meeting on a monthly basis.

The seven members of the committee, representing all the local water agencies, in addition to the city and county, are listed below.

The new Water Conservation Action Plan urges residents to conserve 20 percent. Right now, it’s just a recommendation and not a requirement, but that could change, Marks said.

“We are urging residents to undertake these conservation measures,” he said. “As we move forward with the year, the committee will be reviewing water conditions and our usage and consider whether or not it would, at that time, be necessary to make the use mandatory and enforceable.”

The last time the committee created an action plan was during the 2009 drought.

“Together, all of the committee members are sending the message to local water users that the drought is a serious consideration for the Santa Clarita Valley,” said CLWA General Manager Dan Masnada. “We are relatively fortunate here. Thanks to advance water supply planning and our diverse portfolio of supplies, including water we’ve stored for situations like this, right now we don’t have to jump to draconian measures like outdoor watering bans. Other parts of our state are in much more dire straits.”

The following conservation measures and tips were adopted by the Santa Clarita Water Committee on Tuesday.

Outdoor Water Conservation Guidelines

  • Repair all leaks in irrigation systems immediately and maintain systems, including sprinklers, so overspray, runoff and water waste is avoided.
  • Use the most water-efficient irrigation, including drip irrigation when appropriate.
  • Choose drought-tolerant vegetation to minimize the need for irrigation, and group plants with similar water needs together for more efficient irrigation. See Santaclaritagardens.com for resources.
  • Use mulch on exposed dirt to lessen evaporation.
  • Water during optimal watering hours of 2-6 a.m. to avoid wind and evaporation. Adjust run times to minimum values. See the Watering Guide on santaclaritagardens.com for samples of irrigation schedules.
  • Minimize water use on decorative fountains, ponds or other types of water streams by incorporating a recycling system so water is continually recovered and reused.
  • Use pool and spa safety covers or evaporation-reducing water treatments, if safe and appropriate for the situation. Pool and spa chemistry should be balanced and maintained to help reduce the frequency of pool/spa draining and refilling.
  • Use a hose equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle when washing a car.
  • Sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots or any other hard-surfaced areas should not be washed down, except for health and safety purposes.

Indoor Water Conservation Guidelines

  • Repair all leaks in faucets, toilets, and indoor pipes immediately.
  • Install high-efficiency toilets (1.28 gallons per flush).
  • Install low-flow aerators in bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  • Install low-flow showerheads in showers.
  • Install water-efficient Energy Star® approved appliances, including clothes washers and dishwashers.
  • Run only full loads in clothes washers and dishwashers.
  • All commercial establishments where food or beverages are provided should serve water to their customers only when specifically requested by the customer.

For more water conservation tips, click here.


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Water Committee Urges 20 Percent Conservation In Persistent Drought


Article: Water Committee Urges 20 Percent Conservation In Persistent Drought
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Allison Pari