Stricter water conservation due in Carlsbad

CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Municipal Water District has declared a Level 2 Drought Alert, triggering mandatory water conservation measures beginning July 1. With this move, the water district joins the San Diego County Water Authority and water agencies throughout the region in raising the level of response to prolonged water shortages.
During a Level 2 Drought Alert condition, the following water use restrictions will be in place:
— Limit landscape irrigation to no more than three days a week on a schedule set by the water district. The Carlsbad Municipal Water District will announce the watering schedule before July 1. This rule does not apply to commercial growers or nurseries.
— Limit lawn watering and landscape irrigation to no more than 10 minutes a station, per assigned day (this does not apply to systems using water efficient devices, such as drip irrigation).
— Irrigate landscape before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. only.
— 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.
— 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.
— Stop operating decorative fountains unless they use reclaimed water.
— Repair all water leaks within 72 hours of notification by the water district.
— Serve water in restaurants only on request.
— Offer hotel guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily.
On April 23, the San Diego County Water Authority declared a Level 2 Drought Alert, setting the stage for mandatory water cutbacks to water agencies throughout the region. The Carlsbad Municipal Water District relies on the water authority for 100 percent of its drinking water supply. Water deliveries to the region will be reduced due to long term drought conditions along the Colorado River and legal restrictions on water that comes from Northern California. These two sources make up about 90 percent of the region’s water supply.
About 80 percent of the city of Carlsbad gets water service from the Carlsbad Municipal Water District. The southeastern part of the city is served by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District and the Vallecitos Water District. All three water districts have now declared a Level 2 Drought Alert.
In addition to putting mandatory conservation measures into effect, the Carlsbad Municipal Water District board of directors will soon consider changing the way customers pay for water, referred to as tiered rates, to encourage greater water savings. Under a tiered-rate system, customers will pay one rate for up to a certain amount of water. Water used above that amount will be billed at a higher rate, similar to how electricity rates are structured. Residents and business representatives who attended recent water district public meetings said they thought this approach was the fairest way to encourage conservation without punishing those who are already conserving.
The city of Carlsbad has taken several steps to save water, including an extensive recycled water system that provides water to parks, street medians and other landscaping. The city recently installed artificial turf at the Stagecoach Park ball fields, and Pine Avenue Park ball fields. A seawater desalination plant is in the final stages of approval and could be complete as soon as 2012. The city has a contract with the plant’s owner, Poseidon Resources Corp., to purchase water at a rate equal to the current price of imported water.
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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