Here in the Goleta Valley we know the importance of water conservation, but we can’t control the weather. In our fourth year of drought we have received only half of our normal rainfall. Our community faces the worst water shortage emergency in our history— now even more severe than the 1990s drought so many of us remember.
Doing everything you can to cut back now is critical to preserve what is left of the water supply for drinking, health, and safety – especially as we enter what is projected to be a long, hot fire season.
The Goleta Water District is continuing to offer incentives and rebates to help customers save water. In September of 2014, the District also stopped issuing new water connections. Consistent with the Governor’s call for water agencies to implement conservation pricing, a temporary drought surcharge is being considered by the Board to achieve the needed water savings that the current mandatory reductions have not accomplished. Under the temporary drought surcharge, customers who cut back should see little difference in their bill, but those who do not conserve will pay more.
With the lack of rainfall this winter, projected water supplies for the next year have fallen below 74%, triggering a Stage III declaration that will be considered by the Board on May 12. Lake Cachuma is at less than 28% capacity, and the District expects to receive no allocation from Cachuma beginning in October. With State Water supplies uncertain, the District is actively using its stored groundwater through eight wells. Four well rehabilitation projects are planned for 2015-16 to expand our pumping capacity.
While many of our customers have managed to save water, it hasn’t been enough. Districtwide conservation over the last year has only been 9%, not the 25% needed. The District is committed to helping our customers rise to the challenge we now face. It’s time to save every last drop because our community’s well-being depends on it.
Conservation starts outdoors:
For homes and businesses, about half the water you use is outdoors. Significantly reducing or eliminating outdoor irrigation will make a big difference in your bill, savings thousands of gallons a month. By comparison a 5 minute shower saves an estimated 37 gallons compared to a 20 minute shower. For more information on outdoor and indoor water conservation, including laundry to landscape systems and simple ways you can do your part, visit www.goletawater.com.
Let’s save water together.
Information provided courtesy of Goleta Water District.