SLO to ration water if residents don’t cut use

May 29, 2015

tap-waterThe city of San Luis Obispo plans to institute water rationing if residents do not cut their water use by more than 10 percent over the next few months. [Tribune]

Individual residents of San Luis Obispo currently use about 72 gallons of water a day, utilities manager Ron Munds said at city forum Thursday. All residents must reduce their water usage by about 10 gallons a day in order for the city to keep pace with a state-mandated 12 percent reduction in water use from 2013 levels.

If city water users do not reach the target by around August, officials plan to call on the city council to implement rationing. If the council were to declare a stage 2 drought, residents would have to cut their usage to 60 gallons a day.

A stage 3 drought declaration would require individuals to reduce their water use to 50 gallons per day.

Including commercial customers, per capita water use in San Luis Obispo is currently 108 gallons a day. That figure must drop to 101 gallons by August for the city to keep pace with its state-mandated target.

As of April, the city only has access to about 3.5 years worth of water.

On Tuesday, the city council will discuss a drought response strategy. As part of the drought strategy, staff is recommending that the city reduce the amount of water allotted for future developments.

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Our family started saving water in 2013. We cut the area of lawn by 45% and let the rest die. We put in the shut-off valves in the showers and we “let it mellow if it’s yellow”. The households like ours will now be punished because we started saving water early in the drought. The guy next door that waters his lawn every other day with the water spilling over the sidewalk and into the gutter will still be allowed to use much more water.

Welcome to the happiest city in……….. where???????

You got it. It’s all just happy-face PR. This place actually sucks as a place to live.

You could always move.

I didn’t have high water usage to start (one-person household, no lawn) and I also cut back some initially. I am glad I didn’t cut back more now because I still have a few things I can do to achieve mandated cutbacks.

Incidentally, due to the shape of many lawns, the limitations of sprinklers and, often, a less-than-ideal sprinkler layout, it is possible for sidewalks to get somewhat wet without truly wasting water. Removing sprinkler water from pavement can also result in removing it from adjacent lawn areas. Lush, green lawns (all over) are a better sign of water wasting than wet pavement adjacent to the lawns.

Yet another example of incompetent government (lack of) leadership over-stepping their bounds and responsibilities, just in time to take “advantage” of this latest “crisis.”

It’s like all the banning they seem addicted to, it’s nothing but a power trip. And like most addicts, it will not be enough. Never enough.

Will they impose unjust solutions? Yes. Will they be hypocritical in their own practices. Mostly, Yes. Will they use the current situation to enlarge and further empower government. Probably. Does that mean that their isn’t a serious problem that needs to be addressed? No.

Just because there are politicians playing games with power and people doesn’t mean that something doesn’t need doing. We (more correctly — YOU, SLO residents) need to elect more honest and competent people to work on solutions, not deny a real situation because they mishandle it.

This city stood by silently when all the institutional users ripped out their drought-conserving landscape and put in lawns. Any day of the week you can see water in the gutters at Mustang Village, one of the institutional users that did this. Does the city do anything about this profligate waste? No, it imposes draconian strictures on residents instead. Why? What do they get out of being such bastards to the people who live here and so look-the-other-way at the business abusers of our water?

Oh, and what about Cal Poly? They use city water, and they keep half the campus like a swamp to keep the grass green. Even a 10% cutback over there wouldn’t make a bit of difference overall, they use and waste so much.

We need the clever app developers to get our localized version of “SLO Draught Shaming” launched. Just think of all the fun, digital finger pointing we’ll all be able to participate in.

How about a building moratorium and limit Cal poly enrollment?

Glad the city practices what it preaches – I just walked through puddles on the walkways of Mitchell Park where the sprinklers had been on for a few hours this morning.

Exactly! I saw something similar happening in Paso at a Vineyard. It was middle of the day and the water looked like it had been on all day. Very irresponsible.

I believe that the park is irrigated with recycled waste water. The city actually has a surplus of recycled water that gets dumped. That’s why we need to use ground water injection so that surplus water can be stored under ground.

good to know.

You’re wrong. The recycled water piping is only in the south end of town. It would cost too much to run it through downtown, so that’ hasn’t been done. Anyway, recycled water is a cop out. That water’s drinkable, and we should count it as part of our potable supply. The city gives this water away to people who don’t even live in town and who haven’t paid for it. Swallow that if the ever-increasing water rates, some of which pay for this “recycling,” get to you.

Slo may not be looking at this correctly, it is not just the residents who need to cut back.

Restaurants use a hell of a lot of water, mostly washing dishes. And the hotels, are they cutting back.

Do they do cash for grass, or any of the other things AG does, or is it just more of Slo throwing their power around. If you don’t bathe you might get the cops called for smelling.

Slo also has a lot of medical buildings and 2 hospitals, try to get them to cut back, they use water like no bodies business.

Have they cut water usage to parks? Good luck residents of Slo, you seem to cause all kinds of problems according to your council. All they are asking is you do everything they ask with no questions asked and no input from you either.

Did you hear about the restaurant in Lompoc that is using an air compressor to clean food off of dishes before washing? Normally they are spray rinsed. Brilliant idea, was written up in the Santa Maria Times last week.

Or they could just use a silicon scraper, which gets them much cleaner, much more quickly, and without the noise and electricity.

Then soon after water conservation works an announcement of the need to raise water rates since income from water bills is not covering costs. Always water conservation works but never government cost conservation.

Yet a recent trip out through the valley to Yosemite and up the back roads from Santa Barbara shows that the farms are FLOOD irrigating (many of them), planting thousands of acres of new produce, watering in high winds and during mid-day. What is really going on here? I want to understand why they are using millions and millions of gallons of water whilst we are restricting families considerably.

Flood irrigation is efficient for some crops like alfalfa or oats.

Alfalfa is too water intensive to even be grown in a droughty region like California. It’s a low-value crop that nobody should be wasting water to grow here. Grow it where it rains.

Kudos to Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande who have implemented Stage I conservation efforts. Many folks find that they are already in compliance, yet there are those few snobs who think their plants and lawns are more valuable than their neighbors.

We ALL have to forfeit something and help cut back. Miner’s sells shower heads that you can turn off when soaping up, then just flick the button and the flow begins again. Don’t run the water while brushing your teeth. Same with washing/soaping your hands. It’s not hard to cut your usage, and every little bit helps.

And then there are those of us who have lived through this 3 times already and realize this is a bunch of B.S. Even with climate change, those reservoirs will be full again within a couple of years. For additional growth the best option would be enlarging and connecting onto Lopez Lake. This is all pretty simple and straightforward and the same politics have been playing out over and over in this town.

I often agree with you but you are off the mark here. Yes, we have survived droughts before but there are some things that make this one worse and we will have to make more adjustments in our usage to compensate.

Maybe tell all the native pines and oaks that are dying that things will be normal again, after they’re all dead. They might like that line.

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