Twain Harte, CA — Conservation requirements for customers of Twain Harte Community Services District (THCSD) made a dramatic shift earlier today — from 20 percent voluntary to 30 percent mandatory.
Following a public hearing, the board made the decision, citing the record low snowpack and predictions that, for the first time in history, Pinecrest and Lyons Reservoirs will not fill, in addition to Governor Jerry Brown’s state mandate for 25 percent conservation.
For THCSD customers, the district’s Phase III Mandatory Water Conservation Measures are now in place, which will use 2013 water usage as baseline data. Under the more stringent rules: outdoor watering is limited to two days per week; home vehicle washing is prohibited; customers are required to make leak repairs; penalties will be initiated for excessive use. For more details about the measures, click here.
“Unfortunately, our water supply is in worse shape than it was last year,” says General Manager Tom Trott. “The good news is that system improvements, made last year, will enable us to require less extreme conservation.”
Due to a new well built last year with grant funds, the district was able to reduce by about ten percent its reliance on summer water from Lyons and Pinecrest lakes. According to district officials, another grant-funded well project is slated for construction in May. The district estimates another ten percent will be saved this season through water recycling improvements and a program through which the district helped customers identify residential leaks.
There’s more good news; Trott shares that, last year, customers managed to average over 50 percent conservation throughout the summer and since the beginning of this year, with only voluntary measures in place, used 30 percent less than 2013. “We were hoping this would be a better year,” he states. “But I am confident we can come together again and do what it takes to make sure there is enough water for our health, sanitation and fire safety.”