Facing a third consecutive dry year and responding to a new executive order from Gov. Newsom aimed at bolstering statewide water supplies, Contra Costa Water District’s Board of Directors adopted a new Drought Management Program at its April 20, 2022, meeting.
The move brings the District into Stage 2 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan, adds new water use restrictions, and aims for an overall 15% reduction in water use as compared to 2020. Full details of the Drought Management Program are available at ccwater.com. Despite precipitation in late 2021, the beginning of this year has been among the driest on record.
“We know that further reductions can be a challenge, but our customers are conscientious water users who step up for their community,” said Lisa M. Borba, District Board President. “Setting our baseline year as 2020 protects those customers who voluntarily reduced their water use in 2021.”
The District’s water allocation from the federal Central Valley Project, which will provide only for minimum public health and safety levels this year, will be supplemented with local supplies and water stored in its Los Vaqueros Reservoir, which currently is about 58% of capacity.
To encourage conservation and to recover costs related to the ongoing drought, the District is proposing a temporary drought surcharge of up to 15%, or $0.79 per 748 gallons for treated water customers, effective for water delivered starting July 1. For the average customer using 260 gallons of water per day, the surcharge amounts to approximately $0.28 per day. A rebate to offset the drought surcharge for treated water customers who use 200 gallons per day or less, funded with non-rate revenues, is included in the District’s proposal. A public hearing to consider the temporary drought surcharge is set for June 15.
“We are committed to helping our customers use water as efficiently as possible,” President Borba said. “Our incentive programs help customers effectively reduce their water use, especially outdoors where nearly half of water is used during the summer months.”
The District offers numerous resources and rebates available for customers to reduce their water use – all available at ccwater.com/drought.