Loch Lomond Reservoir, January 2014 (photo by Judie Cole)
Drought Update -- March 3, 2014
The recent storm dropped welcome rain onto Santa Cruz, bringing this year's total rainfall to about 8 inches. Normal rainfall for this time of the year is about 13 inches. While turbidity exists in flowing sources, water from Loch Lomond is supplementing the City's water supply.
While all rainfall is good and our recent storm provided some healthy downpours, we are still significantly behind where we need to be. For a weekly update on statewide drought conditions, click here.
On February 25, 2014, after reviewing continued extreme drought conditions, the City Council passed a resolution declaring a Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency within the City of Santa Cruz water service area. Stage 3 is a level of water shortage requiring significant action by the community to reduce system-wide water use by 25%, to avoid using our limited water storage.
The three primary measures to be put in place in a Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency are:
- Enforced water rationing for single family and multi-family residential accounts.
- Significantly scaled back water budgets for large irrigation accounts.
- Mandatory water assessments, conservation plans and signage for commercial accounts.
When will rationing begin, and how is rationing enforced?
Rationing will begin May 1, 2014. Each household will be given a water allotment. If household water use goes over the allotment, penalties will be added to the bill. Penalties can add up quickly.
For information on water allotments and penalties for using more than your allotment, click here.
For the Application for Additional Water Allotment for Large Households, click here.
Here are some guidelines to stay within your ration:
- Calculate your water allotment.
- Read your water meter and understand your water bill.
- Know where your water goes!
- Fix leaks.
- Install aerators on sinks and low-flow showerheads in bathrooms -- available for FREE from the Water Department.
- Utilize City rebates to replace toilets, washing machines and turf.
- Limit showers to 5 minutes or less.
- Turn off landscape irrigation, such as sprinkler systems.
- Only run full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine.
For information on ways to save water at home, click here.
For information on savings for commercial properties, click here.
Department of Water Resources - State Drought Information
Governor Brown's Drought State of Emergency Proclamation
Drought Monitor Map
Santa Cruz Water Supply Outlook
Current Water Conditions in Santa Cruz
Stage 1 Water Restrictions are still in Effect
Weekly Water Conditions
Save Our Water
Water Conservation Tips
Water Use Calculator
Free Water Conservation Devices
How to Read your Water Meter
How to Check for Leaks
Help Your Trees Survive the Drought
Santa Cruz Water Shortage Contingency Plan