Contra Costa Water District Asks Customers to Voluntarily Cut Water Use by 15%

March 21, 2014 13:00 pm · 29 comments

water

The Contra Costa Water District’s Voluntary Drought Program for 2014 is asking customers to reduce their overall water use by 15% from their historical use.

The program was approved by the CCWD Board of Directors on March 19 and will be in effect on April 1. Most customers can meet the voluntary goal by cutting back on how much watering you do in your yard.

Historical use for your property can be found on the back of your water bill, You can also contact Customer Service at (925) 688-8044 or send the district an e-mail.

  • The historical use is an average of 2005–2007 water
    use at your residence.
  • If the circumstances at your household
    have changed, such as additional people living in the house, please fill out this exception form. (Note, if you previously submitted a form, you don’t need to send another one.)

Recent conservation efforts are appreciated and are not counted against customers.

California is facing a significant water crisis after several consecutive dry years. In January, Gov. Jerry Brown formally declared a statewide drought emergency. The severity of the water shortage stems from the small amount of precipitation and snow pack received this winter.

The District is not increasing water rates as a component of this drought program. Customers who meet the voluntary conservation goals under the Drought Program will save money on their water bills by using less water.

The goal of this Program is to reduce consumption to conserve available water supplies and save water in the Los Vaqueros Reservoir .

The Drought Program focuses on reducing outside water use, while minimizing impacts to jobs and the local economy. The District discourages the following wasteful watering practices.

Single Family and Multi-Family Residential Customers:

  • Outside watering of landscaping during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Outside watering with District furnished water that results in excessive flooding or runoff into a gutter, drain, patio, driveway or street.
  • Washing a vehicle, trailer or boat with District-furnished water using a hose without a shutoff nozzle.
  • Washing paved or other hard-surfaced areas, including sidewalks, walkways, driveways, patios and parking areas with District-furnished water.
  • Using District-furnished water for non-recirculating decorative fountains or filling decorative lakes or ponds.

Non-residental Customers:

  • Outside watering of landscaping during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Outside watering with District furnished water that results in excessive flooding or runoff into a gutter, drain, patio, driveway or street.
  • Washing paved or other hard-surfaced areas, including sidewalks, walkways, driveways, patios and parking areas with District-furnished water.
  • Using District-furnished water for non-recirculating decorative fountains or filling decorative lakes or ponds.

More tips and advice are available from the district’s Conservation Program.

1 BagsFlyFree March 21, 2014 at 2:35 PM

If CCWD was really interested in conservation and not following the rate hike trail they will impose, they need to streamline their archaic method to have people update landscaping or replace old toilets to low flow. Approved landscaping plant swap jobs or plumbing work could employ hundreds of local people while conserving millions of gallons of water quickly and efficiently.

The toilet replacement program is a joke and requires you to:
– get pre-approved,
– then go to a no name or limited stock supplier (try to find the cheap toilet in stock)
– to then present a voucher
– install the toilet yourself
– to then they have CCWD come out to your house to verify that it was actually installed.

They could rather A. buy toilets in bulk to achieve cost savings, and B. hire on local workers to sell/install these water saving devices for a flat fee after clients setup an appointment. Once the job is complete, move on to the next one. $100 installed per basic toilet or $250 for deluxe.

Simple solutions need simple steps!!!!!

BFF Out!!

2 Phoenyx March 21, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I’d love to get rid of my lawn… I hate lawns. I keep getting vetoed.

3 I just don't know how we March 21, 2014 at 3:07 PM

can save more. I guess we’ll use even more bottled water, send more cloths out for cleaning and start using sand to clean dishes. The lawn is already all rock. The cars get washed seldom and then only at professional car washes. The toilets are already low flow and we are careful when we flush. Showers are short and water is saved for the herb garden. Our bill is around $25 a month.

But we will do our best to conserve more. We need water in our bodies to survive, we concentrate on staying alive and let everything else go. Just don’t get angry if we smell a little ripe once in a while.

4 I don't know how March 21, 2014 at 3:13 PM

can save more water. I guess we’ll use even more bottled water, send more cloths out for cleaning and start using sand to clean dishes. The lawn is already all rock. The cars get washed seldom and then only at professional recycled water car washes. The toilets are already low flow and we are careful when we flush. Showers are short and water is saved for the herb garden. Our bill is around $25 a month year round.

But we will do our best to conserve more. We need water in our bodies to survive, we will concentrate on staying alive and let everything else go. Just don’t get angry if we smell a little ripe once in a while.

5 Rose Garden March 21, 2014 at 3:21 PM

We’ve been conserving (maybe 20%) for a while now. It’s easier now that our kids are grown.

6 Incognito March 21, 2014 at 3:41 PM

We don’t waste water in our house anyway, but one of the things I do is, put a 2 gallon bucket in my shower. The bucket collects the water while the water is heating up to take a shower. This usually ends up being almost 2 gallons! I use this to water my outdoor potted plants and my front yard which is already a drought-resistant rock landscape with lots of succulents, cactuses, etc. Two person household, two showers x 2 gallons = approximately 120 gallons per month of recycling water.

7 funny man March 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM

how much dinero do we get for turning in our wasteful neighbors?

8 Portapoties March 21, 2014 at 4:28 PM

People can rent portable toilets and no longer need to flush at all. Neighborhoods could get together and rent a bunch of them at a discount. Every couple of weeks the company would come by and clean them up, no more inside toilets.

What I great sight it would be to see streets lined with plastic crappers and people using less and less drinking water.

9 Really? March 21, 2014 at 4:34 PM

“The District is not increasing water rates as a component of this drought program”.

We’ll see how well that works out once the drought is over, if it ever is.

10 Dorothy March 21, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Hard to conserve more. Been doing it for years just to keep the water bill down.

11 Eat food March 21, 2014 at 4:56 PM

The real digity is that they use a broken method for determining how much water is allocated per household. They need to allocate by # of people that reside there not based on some random #

12 JG March 21, 2014 at 5:03 PM

As most of the commenters have noted, this foolish policy only hurts those that are already water conscious and rewards those that have have been wasteful. If CCWD wanted to properly manage water during a drought, they would determine how much water is to be allotted per member of each household and then add additional volume for limited irrigation based on parcel size. In addition, they would go after the commercial developments that are constantly wasting water; how many times do you go to a commercial complex only to see toilets constantly running, sinks overflowing and irrigation water runoff. And lastly, they would notify all households with pools that there will be an automatic surcharge applied should they decide to continue filling this luxury during the drought. You know make real water management decisions and not just pass the buck.

13 DanMtz March 21, 2014 at 5:18 PM

I understand there are still some areas in the state that do not have water meters. If the powers that be want to get serious about conservation, step one is to tell everyone how much they are using. It’s easy to waste when you aren’t getting any feedback.

14 itsme March 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM

`I think the City of Concord should get rid of some of their big lawns ie. Willow Pass/Parkside, Landana/Concord Blvd and others around town. These should be made into community gardens or demonstration waterwise gardens or how about xeroscape landscape. How much water do you think the cities use throughout?

15 BagsFlyFree March 21, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Great comments about the community gardens.. Landana and Concord blvd is a great location for one..

16 bluebird March 21, 2014 at 8:53 PM

I believe the big parks are watered using wells. There are a few properties in and around Concord that have wells for watering lawns and gardens.

17 the big cheese March 21, 2014 at 8:58 PM

We have cut back as far as we can go. However, I would like to see how many new homes are given building permits. I just think if we all cut back, they would issue permits for another housing tract……………new water hookups……….I trust my government to do the right thing…..huh?

18 Anon March 21, 2014 at 9:34 PM

The best part of all, when this changes, assuming it does, this new 15% lower usage will be your new historical use. In other words, you have to keep saving more and more until you don’t use any, otherwise the water police will get you!

19 Mother trucker March 21, 2014 at 11:31 PM

I have a well

20 Anonymous March 22, 2014 at 7:23 AM

@EatFood ~ Couldn’t agree more. The last time around that they decided how much was “allowable” use for our property, they based it on several years when only one person lived here, and intermittently at that. So, no matter how much we had been conserving voluntarily, when it came time to punish those who are “wasteful” with higher rates, we got screwed (and continue to get screwed every month). They need to base your “allowable” usage on the number of people living there and the size of the property. Basing it on “historical usage” only encourages people to waste water until absolutely forced to cut their usage, and punishes those who conserve on a regular basis.

21 DoReMi March 22, 2014 at 7:49 AM

I’ve always been a conservative user of water and all other resources. Always. I am kind of sorry about that because now we are being asked to cut back on our usage…on already spartan supplies. As usual, bureacracy is about to stab me in the back for being such a good conservative.

22 Connie Dobbs March 22, 2014 at 9:04 AM

I rent and the landlord pays my water bill.

23 ChampagneKitty March 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Me too, Miss Connie.

Mother trucker’s comment #19 brought back a memory from my childhood. I was born in 1970 and grew up in Dublin. I have a faint memory of the drought of the 70’s and the conservation measures. At my house that I grew up in we were hooked up to a well and did not have to conserve and one of my parents said something about the neighbors being envious.

24 Rose Garden March 22, 2014 at 12:21 PM

You don’t have to be a homeowner to conserve water. You can conserve because you care.

I realize not everyone cares……

25 Connie Dobbs March 22, 2014 at 1:51 PM

I also have no yard in which to grow non-native roses, which I hear are quite thirsty as well as high-maintenance.

26 Mimi (original) March 22, 2014 at 1:52 PM

I have been conserving for years! If I’m going to have to cut back further I’m going to have to stop bathing (sorry co-workers!) Or washing clothes! Yuck to both options!

27 Marissa March 22, 2014 at 3:44 PM

We’ve been conserving for years, but our water bill still goes up.

28 hope March 22, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Why don’t they stop raising the rates and give us a voluntary 15% discount on the water charges during the drought? Make us like the damn company again… at this time I hope the water runs out so they are shut down!

29 Clayanon March 22, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Like a lot of the commentors here, I have always practiced water conservation. I even had a CCWater representative come out and help me be more water wise. That was a few years ago and it was free and informative. So like the others, asking those of us that already conserve to conserve 15% more may be impossible. But I will try. But I think a better approach would be like the one PG&E uses. Every once in awhile they mail me a letter showing me how my house compares to other houses of the same size in energy use. I always “beat” the others quite a bit in low energy use because I do simple things, like using energy efficient bulbs, turn off unneeded lights, heat/cool only the areas of the house I use often, use a smart thermostat, etc. If CCWater would take that approach and compare apples to apples (lot size, familt size, etc.) to encourage water conservation, I think the outcome would be better. Don’t punish those who already conserve, positively encourage everyone to conserve.
And pray we have a really rainy April. But that’s not likely.

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