Tuesday: Workshop on Cal Water drought plan


A California Water Service Company public workshop on the company's proposed drought restrictions and ways customers can reduce water use will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, at Las Lomitas Elementary School's Cano Hall, 299 Alameda de las Pulgas in Atherton.

Cal Water's Bear Gulch district covers Atherton, Portola Valley, most of Woodside, and parts of Menlo Park and Redwood City.

The district has been ordered to cut overall water consumption in the district by 36 percent from 2013 levels by February 2016.

Cal Water has asked the state Public Utilities Commission to approve its drought plan, effective June 1, which proposes a "water budget" based on a reduction from past use for each customer, with penalties for using more than the budgeted amount of water.

Penalties would also be charged for "misuse or waste" of water, with repeat or egregious violations punished by the installation of flow restricting devices or cutting off of service.

The proposed plan, which Cal Water Bear Gulch District manager Dawn Smithson said the state PUC is expected to decide on by May 28, says the minimum water budget will be 600 cubic feet of water, or 4,488 gallons a month per customer. That minimum is set, the plan says, at 55 gallons per person per day, multiplied by the average number of persons in a household in our area according to federal census data.

Ms. Smithson said the water district is also asking the cities and towns the district covers to adopt the rules as local laws.

See this previous Almanac story for more information about the proposed plan.


2 people like this
Posted by Elaine
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 19, 2015 at 1:04 pm

We have low maintenance landscaping just around our house, but even WE think that 6CCFs a month is too low. The problem is that the program starts in JUNE, high summer season, and we'll have no credits from the winter to roll over! Or will they count last winter???
How about a minimum of 10 CCFs for the first four months----that would seem less drastic and they wouldn't have so many appeals. Fines will not do it in our super high income towns and aren't fair anyway. Do we let the wealthy buy as much water as they want? Is that a way for Cal Water to make money out of the drought?

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