Friday, July 25, 2008

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Declares Drought Level 1

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Declares Drought Level 1 and Says No New Service Connections If It Moves To Level 2

Encinitas, CA –The Olivenhain Municipal Water District (District) Board of Directors adopted a Drought Response Conservation Ordinance (Ordinance) at its Board Meeting this morning. Immediately following the adoption of the Ordinance, the General Manager declared a Level 1 Drought Watch for the District’s service area effective immediately. The ordinance consists of four levels and is modeled after the regional drought ordinance developed in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority (Water Authority) and other local water suppliers. Water suppliers throughout San Diego County have adop ted or will adopt their own drought ordinances generally consistent with restrictions that are being enforced across the region.

Level 1 – “Drought Watch” effective July 23, 2008

A Level 1 condition calls out six primary use restrictions. Compliance with these restrictions during Level 1 is voluntary; however these same restrictions become mandatory and will incur penalties if the District moves to Level 2. Level 1 restrictions, which are also generally considered best water management practices, include not washing off paved surfaces, not allowing runoff from irrigation, watering before 8 AM or after 6 PM, using a shut off nozzle on hoses and repairing all leaks promptly. During a Level 1 Drought Watch condition, the District will increase its public education and outreach efforts to emphasize public awareness of the need to implement the water conservation practices adop ted in the Drought Response Ordinance. At Level 1 the District is asking customers to help conservation efforts by voluntarily cutting back their water use by at least 10% within and around their homes and businesses. If 10% water reduction goals are not accomplished in Level 1, a Level 2 Drought Alert could be declared.

Level 2 - The District diverges from the Regional Ordinance to Stop New Connections Earlier at Level 2

In a Level 2 “Drought Alert” (up to 20% reduction required) all water reduction measures in Level 1 will continue; however they will become mandatory and will incur penalties.The District Board decided to diverge from the Regional Ordinance by providing that no new potable water service connections will be allowed in Level 2. “The Regional Ordinance did not call for the discontinuation of new service connections until Level 3; however the District felt that we owed a duty to our existing customers to take this step earlier. If we start telling our existing customers that they have mandatory restrictions and penalties, we didn’t feel it was right to keep setting new meters. ,” sta ted Mark Muir , the District’s Board Treasurer and the District’s representative to the San Diego County Water Authority. The only exceptions for new service connections in Level 2 will be for public health and safety, previously issued and unexpired building permits, or if the developer can offset all of the water demands of the new service connection. More information and additional customer notices will be provided if and when the District moves to Level 2 or higher The District’s Drought Response Ordinance may be viewed at its website

Why has the District moved to a Level 1 “Drought Watch?”

San Diego County is a semi-arid region and local water resources are scarce. The region is dependent upon impor ted water supplies provided by the Water Authority, which obtains a substantial portion of its supplies from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan Water District). The Water Authority is responsible for notifying its member agencies, including the District, that there will be supply shortages and that certain consumer conservation measures are needed in order to ensure that sufficient supplies will be available to meet anticipa ted demands. On June 4, 2008 Governor Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought, and on June 10, 2008 in response to the Governor’s proclamation, Metropolitan Water District declared a Water Supply Alert throughout its six-county service area to help preserve water storage reserves. “The plain and simple of it is that the entire state is in a drought and we are drawing down storage at an alarming rate in order to meet demands. We do not have the ability to replenish those supplies as we did in the past due to court ordered restrictions on pumping from the Delta. Unless demand is reduced voluntarily, we will be moving to the next levels in the Drought Ordinance which include mandatory compliance, penalties and allotments. ” stated the District’s General Manager Kimberly Thorner.

California is experiencing a drought due to two consecutive years of below-average rainfall, very low snowmelt runoff and the largest court-ordered water transfer restrictions in state history. The water transfer restrictions have been placed on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta pumps on the State Water Project pipelines that provide water to most of Southern California including San Diego County . The District receives 40% of its water supply from the State Water Project. These restrictions are from federal rulings set to protect several protected fish species in the Delta, and will prevent delivery of up to 30% of the water from the State Water Project. This restriction is anticipated to remain in effect for several years.

The Metropolitan Water District has projec ted that there will be shortages in our water supply from 120,000 acre feet up to 600,000 acre feet for 2009. 120,000 acre feet is roughly the amount of water for approximately 120,000 families of four for one year. Even if more rain is received and snowpack goes up next year it will not be enough to make up for the deficiencies in our water supply that already exist.

These factors have triggered the necessity for the District to adopt its drought response ordinance and declare Level 1 Drought Watch.

Best Regards,

Mandolyn (Mandy) Rodriguez
Staff Analyst/Public Information Officer
Olivenhain Municipal Water District
1966 Olivenhain Road
Encinitas, CA 92024
P (760) 632-4650
F (760) 753-1638

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  1. Mark Muir the treasurer of a water district? Isn't Mark Muir our fire chief?

    Isn't Mark Muirs wife involved in TIP?

    WTF. Is that guy is a political wonder?

    Does Jerome's kids go to TIP?

    I guess if you give political contributions to Jerome Stocks, You can get charter schools approved and replace all existing stations with oceanview $5 million dollar fire stations with all first class amenities. McRitz at the expense of tax payers of course.

  2. No new hookups at a time when there is no building going on!

    Why not make sure you didn't have too many hook ups before we had a drought!

  3. I don't believe there is a drought! I drove home last week from La Jolla at 11 PM , all the sprinklers were watering the streets at UCSD. If the state of California says there is a drought, why are they watering the streets?? Why should I conserve so the state can water the street??

  4. I am a native of Southern Calif. and know a little of California history. Almost all of Soutehrn California is a semi-arrid desert. When Los Angeles was first developed, some shrewd developers, who I imagine are now very wealthy, bought the land that is now called the California Aquaduct. It extends way up into the Northern part of the state. They then built the the Aquduct to provide water to the lower half of California. They did this so that they could develop So. Calif. and there was not enough water to do it without other sources. So, whether we are actually in a full fledged drought seems like a moot point to me. The fact is, we have no water of our own in SO. Cal. We import most of it. I belive that we, as individuals, have the capacity to conserve a great deal and whether the State waters UCSD's lawn is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. We need to conserve. Not just water, but all sorts of things. Why is this so terrible to some of you? Do you really need to consume so much that you won't stop until there is a law? If so, don't complain about the laws. If we all did our part, what a difference it could make in all of our lives, including our children and their children.

  5. Just buy bottled water, take showers every other day, have a rock garden as a front yard, and floss instead of brushing your teeth (my dentist says that is more important anyway), oh and if it yellow leave it mellow, if its brown flush it down (no option there).

  6. I have always felt there was no reason to conserve unless the various water districts demonstrated the real need by discontinuing hookups. Only good logic, but being a good cynic, I was waiting for the typical developer loophole. The quote in the press release is "The only exceptions for new service connections in Level 2 will be for public health and safety, previously issued and unexpired building permits, or if the developer can offset all of the water demands of the new service connection."

    Should be interesting to find out what that really means.

  7. Let's hope the desal plant in Carlsbad gets approved and up and running soon.

  8. Let's hope the desal plant in Carlsbad gets approved and up and running soon.

  9. I am not conserving anymore than I normally do.

    The biggest conservation would be to stop approving the thousands of new water services planned in North County.

    We don't have enough water period.

    Don't let Jerome Stocks developer buddies keep profiting off of the existing residents.

    Vote out Jerome in November.

  10. I won't be doing any serious water conservation until new hookups are stopped. We are barely into the 20 to 30 year dry cycle of the North Pacific Oscillation. Those of us who lived through the last dry cycle from 1953 to 1978 know how dry it can get. Lake Hodges never filled during that period. Now with millions more living in Southern California, it is insanity to not start serious water restrictions on new hookups now.

    Encinitas is not participating in the Carlsbad desal plant. That's a good decision, as the water will never be delivered at the promised price with the rising energy prices. This plant is a way to keep the development machine going and to avoid any discussion on putting limits on growth. But at some point we will have to have that discussion. Better sooner than later.

  11. Vote out the devil in Encinitas.

    Vote out Jerome Stocks.

  12. I'll stop watering when the golf course stops and not a second before. The whole drought is a political ploy to raise rates and get more tax money to spend.

    Why don't we have several desal plants planned if we are truly worried about water?

  13. The Encinitas Ranch Golf Course is watered with recycled water.

  14. good for the water district in taking the lead in meter restriction! This is the first district I know that is placing the customer needs ahead of the developer's greed.

  15. All efforts to conserve water should be encouraged.

  16. What's going in on that new lot south of Tom's donut shop?? (Sorry- off topic...)

  17. There's a Tom's Donut shop?

  18. It's also known as Leucadia Donuts. Tom makes the best donuts anywhere and he always has a friendly smile.

  19. So... what's up with that lot???

  20. Isn't all those new homes built in La Costa Valley in OMWD? Get planning guys.

    Why don't you add another lawn intensive million more homes and golf courses to our arid desert?

    Hey lets build on every square inch of this desert and pump the crap out of the natural water ways.

    We are humans and we are born to destroy! YEAH!

  21. No new meters, recycled water and desalted water are all good things.

  22. GO OMWD! There priorities are the current ratepayers, not new development.

    Where does SDWD stand on no new meters and desal?


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