CARLSBAD — Despite a challenging month, the water users in the city met the state’s mandated cutbacks for the first time since Gov. Jerry Brown instituted the policy last year.
According to Mario Remillard, meter and customer services supervisor for the Carlsbad Municipal Water District, February’s total reduction came in at 21 percent.
In addition, the city received an additional 8 percent credit from the State Water Resources Control Board thanks to the added supply from the city’s desalination plant, which came online in December.
The city’s mandate from the state is to reduce 28 percent each month, but now the total is down to 20 percent with the credit.
“We wish we can get more,” Remillard said.
Mayor Matt Hall, though, said the credit from the state was applied for February and extended through March. However, he said the State Water Resources Control Board has not committed to further credit extensions.
Remillard explained the state board will meet in April to determine whether to extend the credits. He said the reservoir at Lake Orville is at 70 percent of capacity and is expected to spill in the coming months. Lake Shasta is at 80 percent capacity and combined, the two may allow the board to extend credits.
As for the city, Remillard said the board analyzed three factors to determine the credits, which included alternative water sources, evaporation temperature (a sort of average temperature, he added) and population increase. The district applied for the credits last month.
“It’s very important,” Remillard said of receiving the credits. “We weren’t getting anything prior, any kind of reduction for drought-proof sustainable supply. Twenty-eight percent, that was a big number to hit especially with our transient population in the summer.”
Since Carlsbad didn’t have much population increase and its average temperature is pretty constant, those two avenues didn’t net a credit, Remillard said. However, the desalination plant pumps between 8 to 10 percent of potable water into the county supply, which netted the 8 percent credit.
The state, meanwhile, approves between 1 to 8 percent for alternative water sources. Since the desalination plant meets the 8 to 10 percent threshold, Carlsbad was granted the 8 percent credit.
In addition, the state also used a complex formula to determine reduction totals for each entity. Remillard said three summer months in 2014 were incorporated, but since 2013 was the last wettest year on record, along with the average gallon per capita (person) per day used, those numbers were crunched to determine the city’s requirement.
Remillard, meanwhile, said the district purchased 9 percent less water over the same month in 2013, an even more impressive feat given this February was the hottest on record.
“February 2013 was wet and cold and now we just had the hottest February on record,” he added. “At least we got a reduction.”
There are many hundred of news homes planned and coming on line in Carlsbad. Long time residents save water only to see it used to allow more construction, as if our efforts to reduce consumption are not really doing anything to keep California’s water usage down. Instead we have a desal plant that produces water at considerable cost and makes no effort to contribute to our energy savings while doubling our water costs. The City is also making it ever more expensive to even access water with related fees rising faster than that of the water it carries, many paying more for access than they do for water, an injustice to low water users. In the meantime, recycling is allowing favored groups like the strawberry field ,with its allegiance to Caruso and Company, and the notoriously expensive City golf course to have all the water they need to keep green.
The lack of real water savings and of special preferences is typical of a city council that really has no need to pay much attention to its citizens since they are there forever given the way the at-large election system works. It will always favor incumbents who draw most of their political contribution from sources link to developers and from out of town. Democracy at work? Whom are we kidding?
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