Sonora, CA — Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) has implemented mandatory water restrictions on its customers.
The Board of Directors voted unanimously after a public hearing tonight to transition from voluntary to mandatory conservation mode. Due to the record dry year, staff is recommending that the district strive to reduce water usage by 50%.
TUD General Manager Tom Scesa told the Board, “I don’t have all the evidence that tells me we are definitely not going to get any more rain, but I don’t want to be in a position where I’m having to explain to everyone in the community why we don’t have fire protection and why we don’t have sanitation. That’s what I’m trying to prevent. Let’s start conserving now.”
A handful of people commented on the restriction. Most had questions about the actual implementation of the Phase III Mandatory Water Conservation Measures on customers. Those questions centered on enforcement of the water bans, and the rules regarding landscaping, agriculture, pools and the use of wells.
Citing he was speaking as a citizen, and not as a Tuolumne County Supervisor, Karl Rodefer, spoke in favor of the resolution. Roderfer said, “This has every potential to be as impactful on this community as the Rim Fire. I think it is time that we as a community repeat our very excellent performance and come together again and support the rationing effort that really is necessary if we’re going to protect ourselves.”
Here is TUD’s resolution for Phase III Water Conservation Measures:
TUOLUMNE UTILITIES DISTRICT DECLARING THAT A WATER SUPPLY EMERGENCY EXISTS CAUSED BY EXTREMELY DRY CONDITIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PHASE Ill WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES PURSUANT TO THE DISTRICT’S WATER RULES AND REGULATIONS
Whereas, the District has only a fixed and limited supply of water available each year and any year with below normal rainfall a potential for shortage exists; and,
Whereas, a water shortage emergency exists whenever the governing body finds and determines that “the ordinary demands and requirements of water consumers cannot be satisfied without depleting the water supply of the distributor to the extent that there would be insufficient water for human consumption, sanitation, and fire protection;” and,
Whereas. the governing body of the Tuolumne Utilities District has determined that a water shortage emergency exists due to the extremely dry conditions and that there is not sufficient water to meet the ordinary consumption, sanitation and fire protection demands and requirements of water consumers; and,
Whereas. Section 12.03.3 of the District’s Water Rules and Regulations sets forth the Phase Ill Water Conservation Measures and the Board may adopt some or all of these measures.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
Section 1. The District has implemented Phase I, Phase II conservation measures and shall implement the following elements of the Phase Ill Water Conservation Measures as detailed in its Water Rules and Regulations Section 12.03.3:
System Wide – In Addition to those Measures Contained within Phase II
1. Curtail to life maintenance the watering of lawns, gardens and any other irrigation. Individual plants or trees must be irrigated by the use of buckets or other containers or properly maintained irrigation drip systems. Water use which results in water running onto driveways, gutters, streets, adjoining property, and/or any other water runoff is prohibited.
2. Washing of cars, boats, trailers, or other vehicles by hose or by use of water directly from faucets or outlets connected to the public water supply is prohibited.
3. Washing of sidewalks, walkways, driveways, patios, parking lots, tennis courts or other hard-surfaced areas, including commercial establishments, by hose or by use of water from faucets or other outlets connected to the public water supply is prohibited.
4. New construction service applications shall be granted upon condition that water shall be used only for interior purposes and landscaping shall be delayed until repeal of Phase Ill restrictions. Installation of landscaping prior to the repeal of Phase Ill restrictions shall be a violation of this regulation and customer’s service shall be restricted to life line rates by a device installed by the District. The device shall remain in place until the Board of Directors repeals the state of emergency or threat of emergency or shortage and upon payment of $500.00 penalty.
5. Use of water in decorative fountains, pools, recreational ponds and the like shall be limited to the minimum necessary to preserve aquatic life if present.
6. Dust control, earth compaction, and other construction use of raw or potable water are prohibited. Reclaimed water may be used for such purposes if authorized by the District in accordance with regulations.
7. Filling of new or existing swimming pools is prohibited.
8. Excessive water usage is prohibited and shall be remedied by restriction of the customer’s service to life line water delivery rates by a device installed by the District or discontinuance of water service until the excessive usage is remedied, or the Board of Directors repeals the Phase Ill water restrictions, and the payment of a $500 penalty. Excessive water usage is defined as:
i. Allowing plumbing system leaks, including sprinkler and drip systems, to remain un-repaired for fourteen (14) calendar days following written notification by the District. ii. Without reasonable cause, water usage in excess of 200% of the prior year’s usage during the same month of the year.
9. Fire hydrant use by any entities other than the District shall be restricted for any purpose other than fire suppression.
Treated Water and Raw Water (Metered) Domestic Accounts
1. Both raw and treated water metered customers, (where water is sold by the cubic foot) shall be required to eliminate outside water usage between the period 12 noon and 7 p.m. and shall restrict usage to alternating days. Those accounts with a property address ending in an even number shall confine their outside usage to Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; those with an odd number shall confine their outside usage to Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. There shall be no restriction on Monday.
Raw Water Accounts
1. All raw water accounts shall be reduced to an amount equal to the system wide reduction goal.
2. All interruptible accounts shall be reduced to sustained maintenance quantities.
3. Agricultural (irrigation/stock watering) water rate accounts:
All “agricultural (irrigation/stock watering) water rate” accounts shall be reduced by a minimum of 1.25 times the System Wide Reduction Goal. The maximum reduction under this section shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of previous years delivery. All interruptible accounts shall be reduced by a factor of fifty percent (50%).
4. Irrigation season and shorten duration: Irrigation season shall begin no earlier than April 15th and last no longer than October 151h and may be postponed or shortened by board determination based on conditions existing at this time.
5. Supplemental water shall not be available. Industrial and Commercial
Customers shall reduce consumption to the lowest possible amount which would allow continued operation. Conservation measures to be taken shall be established on an individual basis by the District.
Resale Service – Treated and Raw Water
1. Mandatory reduction in percent of usage equal to District’s reduction goal.
2. Reseller shall restrict all outside water usage within his area of service to alternating days in a manner consistent with the policy established herein.
Section 2. The Board hereby finds and determines that this action could not possibly affect the environment and is therefore exempt from CEQA pursuant to Public Resources Code section 21080(b)(4) and also constitutes an emergency and is therefore exempt from CEQA pursuant to the CEQA Guidelines section 15269.