May 28, 2013 > Dry conditions highlight need for water conservation
Dry conditions highlight need for water conservation
Submitted By Frank Jahn
The Alameda County Water District reminds Tri-City residents that continuing dry conditions underline the importance of water conservation habits developed during the last drought. Although water supplies are currently adequate to meet demands, the next significant rainfall probably won't occur until next autumn or winter.
"Water stored in the Sierra snowpack typically accounts for 40% of ACWD's water supply," said Evan Buckland, ACWD's hydrologist. "Unfortunately, it's been very dry in the Sierras for the past two winters. In fact, the months of January through April 2013 were the driest in recorded history across much of California. As a result, ACWD will be receiving only 35% of the water it would normally receive from the State Water Project," Buckland went on to say.
ACWD officials are quick to point out, however, that there's no water supply emergency... yet.
Investments made by ACWD ratepayers over the past decades have helped to offset the current lack of rain and snow. These investments include development of a diverse water supply portfolio, construction of the Newark Desalination Facility, and participation in a groundwater "bank" in Kern County that provides for a dry year reserve water supply.
"Although we're in our second dry year, we've planned ahead for exactly these type of conditions," said Laura Hidas, ACWD Water Supply Supervisor. "Because of our diverse water supply portfolio, we can weather dry spells of limited duration by making withdraws from the Kern County water bank and increasing production from water sources under local control. As a result, we don't anticipate any mandatory water rationing this summer or autumn," Hidas went on to say.
Despite the fact that water rationing will be unnecessary this year, ACWD encourages conservation as the summer months approach. Water conservation habits on the part of ACWD customers have helped to offset the effects of dry weather in the past. Continuing those habits will be crucial this summer and autumn.
ACWD officials encourage you to conserve water in the following ways:
* Adjust sprinklers to avoid watering the sidewalk or driveway.
* Water landscaping no more than three days per week and water in the morning before the sun is overhead.
* Put in drip irrigation for shrubs, trees, and gardens.
* Reduce lawn areas and choose drought tolerant plants for your landscapes.
* Get your car washed at a commercial car wash that recycles water.
* Take shorter showers.
* Find and fix leaks.
* Install high-efficiency clothes washers.
For additional information on ACWD's water conservation programs, including rebates on turf replacement and high efficiency clothes washers, please visit the ACWD website at www.acwd.org.