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.


Just did some math. Has anybody else? Ron Munds’ comments just prove how mean the city is to its residents. The city is required to reduce its overall usage by 12% from last year. He says residents, who used 72 gallons per day, will have to cut to 60 gallons or be fined, and maybe to 50 gallons. Are you following this far?

But the overall usage per person, counting business wasters, is 108 gallons. That’s about 150% of what residents use in their homes. Which shows residents are already doing their fair share, but are going to have to shoulder the blame for businesses that aren’t. (read “tourism”)

Now, if residents, at 72 gpd, where subjected to an actual 12% reduction, that would be 63+ gpd, not 60 gpd , and definitely nowhere near 50 gpd. (50 gpd is a 31% reduction!) So residents, who overall are doing a good job of conservation, are being treated punitively to make up for the shortfall the tourism industry refuses to do anything about.

This city has been taken over by people who regard residents as just so much scum, and business as their lords. W need a change.


Typical SLO response to everything: scr– the residents and let business continue as usual. The entire problem could be solved easily by requiring motels to keep some rooms empty instead of criminalizing reasonable domestic water use. Does anybody else have the feeling that whatever this city does it always does the WRONG thing for its residents?

I hope the voters have had enough, and can get rid of the current Tuesday Clown Show.


I have not had a yard in 12 years, all drought resistant and native plants. I also conserve water all the time for more than 12 years. Just what I choose to do for mother earth.

With AG at least I can ask for an exception from the cut back because I don’t have it to cut back. I catch grey water to water plants from my HE washing machine even.

I think Slo could have certain restaurants use paper plates and use very little water having to only wash silver ware and glasses. And maybe water could be served in paper cups. I am not talking all restaurants but some of the less high end ones.

And yes I can hear people yelling, well what about the trees that it takes to make paper cup and plates. When you don’t have water you will wish you made a compromise early on. And yes I use paper plates at my house for a good many of my meals.

We are in this together and hopefully we start getting rain again, but even if we get normal rain fall next year the lakes will not go back to normal. So we really have to realize this is going to be a struggle for a few years with normal rain fall.


The paper pulping and manufacturing process is VERY water intensive. Not to mention the water used to get the product all the way through the transportation, packaging, and use cycles.


Out of curiosity where is most paper products made? I know of some back east, yet there has to be more places. Does california has paper producers here?




true Cindy A. In my town the guys in the water dept. strut around and proclaim, at least they have a job. heck yes, they have been watching the electric companies. solar? well just raise the connectivity charge


Wait a minute, isn’t this the same guy who made the blunder of a report that over estimated water use to the State that resulted in a higher water conservation goal. The point being, is why should we trust a guy who makes blundering errors on the tax payers dime over and over again. His estimate on current water volume is flawed significantly, even the DWR provides a different number for the City of SLO.


Honorable Mayor and Council what if anything are YOU currently doing to conserve water?


There is only enough water for 3.5 years, so rationing HAS to happen! As the shower runs to get hot, put a bucket under the spicket and collect that precious water for your plants. We have been doing that now for 3 months. Go to the car wash instead of washing in your driveway and letting all that precious water run down the street. Everyone has to do their part!


Maybe you should drive onto your yard and wash your car there and then you can be watering your yard at the same time


and the black market will happen


The water that runs down the street feeds the creeks. Want to help out the ecology, that’s an OK thing to do. Just don’t use soap.


uh huh……no phosphates

Cindy A

The council meeting on Tuesday is hours and hours long and the water rate increase proposed is at the end of the agenda. Folks need to attend and file their disapproval. IF enough people (i.e. 700) property owners complain in writing, the council has to deny the rate increase proposal.

Come on folks ! This City needs to be told enough is enough.


This article says nothing about a rate increase, am I again, missing something?


Read your water bill more carefully. Cindy’s wrong about how many need to object — more like 10,000 than 700. In happy town, that’s asking for a lot of disgruntlement.


stop your water using and watch your delivery fee go up