FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 31, 2013 —
By Steve Marschke, News-Ledger Editor
Short of a really wet winter, West Sacramento officials anticipate a water-supply problem in 2014, and they want residents and businesses to start conserving the wet stuff right now.
“The City is requesting a ‘Stage 2’ water conservation effort and encourages residents to irrigate lawns and gardens with less water and during nighttime hours only, to repair leaks in indoor and outdoor plumbing, and to be generally diligent about preserving this precious resource,” said a statement from Paulina Rosenthal, environmental services manager.
Rosenthal told the News-Ledger that, because the state hasn’t yet cut back the city’s water supply, there is no official “Stage 2” drought condition. For this year, the conservation measures are merely suggestions, and not laws.
“We’re anticipating another shortage next year, so we’re trying to get the conservation message out in advance,” she said. “These are all voluntary measures at this point. Unless something changes drastically over the next winter, we anticipate having to cut back next year.”
The City of West Sacramento is asking residents to voluntarily follow rules like these:
Don’t use potable water to wash sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, streets, or buildings, or to cool roofs.
Water your landscaping and gardens before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
Water your lawns and landscaping on alternate days based on your address, and not on Mondays. Addresses ending with an odd number may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; even numbers may water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Ditto for washing cars.
For other tips, visit www.BeWaterSmart.com.
Since the state hasn’t cut West Sacramento’s allotment of water from the Sacramento River this year, the News-Ledger asked city reps how conserving water now would help manage a potential future water problem.
“The reservoirs will have that much more water (if we conserve now),” answered Dan Mount, operations manager for the Public Works Department. “They release water based on our demand. If most organizations within the Regional Water Authority conserve, they will not need to release as much water from the reservoirs.”
The Regional Water Authority includes 18 agencies including West Sacramento and the city and county of Sacramento, said Mount.
State water officials will take a look at water supplies and snowpack – essentially, a frozen reservoir itself – over the winter. By May, they’ll make decisions on whether water allotments will need to be cut.
“Usually, we see something by April,” said Mount.
Absent an above-average rainfall this winter, said Rosenthal, an official “Stage Two” drought condition next year looks likely.
Copyright News-Ledger 2013