By Jason KUROSU
The Foothill Municipal Water District has officially changed its water alert level from yellow to orange, signaling the latest in state conservation efforts amidst drought conditions and historic conservation mandates.
Water agencies statewide are taking measures to comply with Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandatory reductions, which call for a statewide water use reduction of 25% through Feb. 28, 2016.
FMWD’s latest allocation would reduce its imported water by 15%. Water districts within FMWD will be assessed surcharges per acre foot of water over their allocated amount.
The FMWD board will also prohibit certain uses of water, such as limited washing of vehicles unless a bucket and positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle are used, watering lawns only two days a week (unless using low flow drip irrigation or hoses with positive self-closing shut off nozzles) and filling or refilling ornamental lakes or ponds. Any leaks must also be fixed within 48 hours of notification by the local water purveyor.
FMWD changed its alert status sign outside La Cañada City Hall Tuesday morning during a small ceremony that included La Cañada Mayor David Spence. La Cañada is among the highest water users in the state but has taken steps to reduce is usage such as ceasing watering of its medians.
FMWD Board President Richard Atwater said that getting residents to change their behavior regarding outdoor water use would be the biggest challenge towards achieving the reductions. FMWD will be offering rebates for turf removal and devices that help limit water use such as flow-sensing shut-off devices, rotating nozzles, soil moisture sensor systems and more.
Crescenta Valley Water District General Manager Thomas Love said the biggest targets for reduction would come from the district’s largest users such as Caltrans, Parks and Recreation, school districts and the higher end of residential users.
CVWD will also be adopting many of the same measures as FMWD with minor differences, such as Tuesday and Saturday being set days for landscape irrigation.
But in addition to residents being conscious of their water use and taking up whatever conservation efforts possible at their own homes, Love said that a dialogue between residents would be instrumental in reducing the district’s water use.
“We’re really relying on the public to talk with one another, to talk with neighbors,” said Love. “Just as important as reducing the [number of] days we water and other measures is making sure we do it efficiently.”
For more information on rebates and conservation measures, visit http://www.fmwd.com/conservation.aspx.