SLO council adopts water restrictions
August 21, 2014
The San Luis Obispo City Council adopted a package of water use restrictions Tuesday that will place the city in compliance with a state mandate. [Tribune]
At the direction of the State Water Resources Control Board, all municipal water suppliers must adopt emergency restrictions or face $10,000 a day fines. The mandate has a duration of 270 days, but the state water board has the ability to extend it.
Many Central Coast cities and communities have already adopted their emergency restrictions. San Luis Obispo’s water regulations will take effect Oct. 2 and will restrict residents’ usage of potable water for landscaping and outdoor irrigation.
The new restrictions will limit residents at even-numbered addresses to watering on Sundays, Tuesday and Thursdays. Those living at odd-numbered addresses may only water plants and lawns on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Residents who hand-water plants and gardens or who use recycled water to do so do not need to comply with the day restrictions.
“This is a lifestyle choice not necessitated by the city’s lack of water,” Mayor Jan Marx said. “Yes, we are water secure right now, but we must comply with the state.”
Some residents are concerned that the new water restrictions will trigger rate increases due to the likely reduction in revenue the city utilities department will face. Utilities Director Carrie Mattingly said the city would rely, at least at first, on a rate stabilization fund to offset additional costs to consumers.
“We do not want to raise rates because of the drought,” Mattingly said. “We also don’t want to be scofflaws against the regulations.”