This report constitutes the first comprehensive review and update of the City’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan since the early 1990’s. The project was an outgrowth of the City’s 2005 Urban Water Management Plan, which recognized the many changes in regional conditions and local water supply planning that had taken place over the previous decade, and identified the need to better prepare for the possibility of future water shortages in advance of the next major drought.
The plan was prepared by Water Department staff and adopted by City Council on March 10, 2009.
Water Shortage Contingency Plan
The plan is organized into four sections, as follows:
• Section 1 – Introduction
This section provides background information about the City water system and the City’s Integrated Water Plan, explains the purposes and goals of this plan, summarizes state regulations that pertain to water shortage contingency planning, and describes the process and principles that were used to guide the preparation of this document.
• Section 2 - Assessing Water Supply and Demand
This section describes the key hydrologic factors affecting the City’s water supply and discusses the process staff uses to determine whether a water shortage is expected in the year ahead.
• Section 3 – Demand Reduction Program
This section describes the five-stage approach and overall strategy for dealing with water shortages, explains how available water would be allocated among various customer categories according to priority of use, and presents the recommended menu of actions for cutting back water demand during a declared water shortage. This section also covers policies and recommendations regarding enforcement methods, exceptions, and appeals.
• Section 4 –Implementation
This section describes the essential elements of implementing the updated Water Shortage Contingency Plan, discusses the approximate lead time needed to prepare for and activate a demand reduction program, outlines the process for declaring a water shortage, and identifies areas where additional ongoing efforts are necessary to address critical gaps.
The specific rules and regulations governing water use in a declared water shortage are contained in Chapter 16.01 of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code.
For more information, please call Toby Goddard, Water Conservation Manager at (831) 420-5232 or email.