SLO council adopts water restrictions

August 21, 2014

water2The 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.”


15 Comments

  1. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    What more can I say – vote NO on Measure G.

    The SLO Property Owners tried to qualify an initiative a few years ago that would limit rate increases, fee increases, etc.to the rate of inflation, and impose no new ones without a vote of the people. Unfortunately they were not able to get enough valid signatures.

    Maybe it’s time for someone to try this again? I think this would be the ONLY way to force the city to live within its means, cut the fat, and stop using residents as an endless piggybank.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. Slowerfaster says:

    Shower with a friend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  3. tomsquawk says:

    “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”.

    Do ya think?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  4. hijinks says:

    Mattingly doesn’t want to raise rates because of the drought? What a joke. They’ve already raised sewer rates because of the drought. Sewer rates are tied to winter water use, on the pretext people turn off their irrigation then so you’re actually measuring what goes down the sewer. Since it didn’t rain last winter, irrigation ran just like in the summer. So lots of people have higher sewer rates for the next year as a result. That’s a windfall profit for the sewer operation. Sorry, Carrie, but your logic doesn’t hold water.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  5. Dan Carp says:

    I was the lone vote against this action in part because it included the appropriation of $30,000 to educate the water users on the new restrictions. Here’s how it plays out……you lower your water use, revenues to the Utilities Department drop, and then your rates go up to make up the difference in loss of revenue. Win-win right? You get the picture.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

    • hijinks says:

      Dan, do you mean they’re going to use $30,000 to educate us that our water rates will go up because of less water use? That’s precious. Another reason to vote No — on G, Marx, and Christianson.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

    • hijinks says:

      Dan, here’s a question: Home prices go up, and go down. Stock prices go up, and go down. Interest rates go up, and go down. Gas prices go up, and go down. Why do SLO utility rates only go up, and never go down?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  6. Jorge Estrada says:

    Is there a building moratorium?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    • hijinks says:

      Ah, come on Jorge! That would upset the developers and Chamber, and this council would never do anything like that. They’d much rather impose City Hall determined “lifestyle choices” on the residents. Residents are the punching bags for this stupid crew. This city is run entirely for the builders and against the residents. Vote No on G.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  7. scoopone says:

    No….we cannot reduce staff in the water department – so instead we will eventually
    raise water rates. That way, we all keep our jobs and our planned pensions, and you, the
    user, will pay more, probably lots more (especially if there is no meaningful rain this
    winter.

    More good news for the happiest city in the country!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

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