Goleta Water District Declares Stage II Water Shortage Emergency and Adopts Mandatory Water Use Restrictions, Effective Immediately
Will Also Restrict New Water Allocations Effective Oct. 1
The Goleta Water District (District) Board of Directors on September 9, 2014 declared a Stage II Water Shortage, targeting a 25% community-wide reduction in water usage through mandatory water use restrictions. Water conservation is critical to sustaining the District’s ongoing ability to meet customer water demand. The Stage II declaration and associated reduction measures are tied to the District’s adopted Drought Preparedness and Water Shortage Contingency Plan as well as the statewide emergency conservation regulations recently adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board.
Additionally, the Board of Directors voted to prohibit the approval of applications for new or additional potable water connections, effective October 1, 2014. This restriction is required by the District’s SAFE Water Supplies Ordinance, adopted by the voters in a 1991 ballot initiative. SAFE requires this action when water delivery from Lake Cachuma is reduced, which will be the case starting Oct. 1.
District customers have made a long-term investment in a diverse water supply portfolio that has provided the flexibility to effectively manage water supplies through this critically dry period and has delayed the need for a Stage II declaration. The District entered the drought with a healthy groundwater basin, stored State Water supplies, a full allocation of water from Lake Cachuma, and reliable recycled water supply to offset potable water use. The existing water shortage is the result of three consecutive years with historically low precipitation. The District is continuing to make conservative water supply projections and has moved forward with a Stage II declaration and mandatory water use restrictions to help extend existing supplies into the future. Already among the thriftiest water users in the state, District customers have reduced water use by an additional 10% since the Stage I declaration in March.
The Goleta Valley has a long history of droughts and District customers have responded in the past by significantly reducing water use to conserve available supplies. “Our customers are conservation oriented, with the lowest per capita water use on the South Coast, but we need their help conserving even more to ensure the ongoing availability of water for the community,” said Board President Bill Rosen. “The more we conserve now, the longer we delay the need for a Stage III declaration, which would call for more stringent mandatory reduction measures and potential drought water rates.”
Since over one half of all water used in the Goleta Valley is attributable to outdoor usage, as part of the Stage II Water Shortage declaration, the Board adopted mandatory water use restrictions that primarily target outdoor use, including:
• Hoses used for any purpose must be equipped with a shut-off nozzle.
• Direct application of water to sidewalks, pavements, open ground, or other hard surfaced area is generally prohibited.
• Washing buildings, dwellings or other structures is generally prohibited.
• Vehicles and boats may only be washed at commercial car washing facilities or with a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle.
• Use of water in outdoor fountains, reflection ponds, and decorative water features is prohibited unless located on a residential property or home to aquatic life as of September 9, 2014.
• Outdoor landscape irrigation is limited to no more than two times per week during early morning or late evening hours for no more than two hours. Specifically:
• Manual irrigation, including use of a hose with a sprinkler attached, is permitted between 4:00 p.m.
• Use of fixed (installed) sprinkler systems must comply with the following schedule: and 10:00 am, no more than two days per week.
• Residential properties may water Wednesdays and Saturdays, before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
• Commercial and institutional properties may water Tuesdays and Fridays, before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
• Restaurants may only serve water if specifically requested by the patron.
Repeated violations will be penalized with fines ranging from $100 up to $500 following a warning and written notice. In addition to the above required measures, the following are strongly encouraged:
• All customers are encouraged to use pool and spa covers when not in active use. This alone can save over 7,000 gallons of water per year, per household.
• Customers with large landscapes are encouraged to contact the District for a complimentary water use evaluation and development of a water budget appropriate for the landscaping.
• Hotels, motels, and other lodging providers are encouraged to post a notice of shortage condition with tips in every guest room and refrain from daily linen washing unless specifically request by patrons. Please contact the district for complimentary signs/notices.
• Gyms, athletic clubs, public pools, and other similar establishments are encouraged to post water shortage signs at their facilities, and encourage shortened showers.
Agriculture customers and commercial nurseries are strongly encouraged to comply with the time of use provisions and minimize irrigating and runoff to the extent possible. For specific conservation tips for agricultural operations, customers are encouraged to contact the District or visit www.goletawater.com.
The District Water Conservation Program is available to help customers save water. For assistance evaluating water use at your home or business, including identifying opportunities for additional conservation, please contact the District. The Stage II declaration will be followed by the launch of several water savings incentive programs available to District customers in the coming months. Please contact the District for specific program information. 964-6761 or www.goletawater.com
The Goleta Water District provides water to a diverse population of approximately 87,000 in the Goleta Valley area, including agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers. The District’s water system includes over 270 miles of pipelines, a water treatment plant, storage reservoirs, pumping facilities, active wells, a recycled water system, and connections with Lake Cachuma and the State Water Project.