EVMWD Board votes to ease water restrictions

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Thanks to a series of storms in California this winter, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) is able to lift certain restrictions on water use.

On Thursday, March 9, EVMWD”s Board of Directors voted to move from Stage a3 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan to the less restrictive Stage 2. Stage 2 calls for a mandatory waters savings of 6 to 8 percent. It takes effect immediately.

By moving to Stage 2, the drought penalties on water budget blocks 3 and 4 are eliminated; this follows removal of drought surcharges from the bills last fall. Under Stage 2, customers will be able to irrigate outdoors four days a week. In addition, pool and spa covers are required and new landscapes are allowed only if drip irrigation is used. Restrictions on water waste that were enacted last year remain in place.

EVMWD’s Board President Harvey Ryan says, “This winter’s rain and snowfall have been enough to alleviate the most severe drought impacts in most of the state, including Elsinore Valley. That precipitation and the combined water-saving efforts of our customers have put us in a solid position for the coming months, but we still need to be efficient in all our water use.”

Despite the increased supplies, the State Water Resources Control Board voted Feb. 8 to continue emergency drought restrictions on water use through May despite the increased supplies. This move was opposed by EVMWD and other water suppliers in the region because imposing mandatory cutbacks when water supply conditions are so improved is not fair to customers.

“EVMWD has taken measures to ensure we have supplies for prolonged drought conditions. The emergency has passed and now it’s time to give our ratepayers some relief,” General Manager John Vega said.

Those efforts include $10 million in projects to expand the local water supply, paid for from reserve funds and with no cost to customers. This work, which includes construction of new wells, will decrease EVMWD’s reliance on costly imported water. The District also supplies recycled water for irrigation to save potable supplies.

Water Use Prohibitions:

  • Washing down sidewalks or driveways
  • Watering during or within 48 hours after a rain event
  • Irrigation runoff
  • Using fountains or water features without recirculating pumps
  • Watering on windy days
  • Providing water at restaurants unless requested
  • Not giving hotel and motel guests the option to decline daily linen changes

Guidelines for outdoor water use:

  • Use sprinkler irrigation systems between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Watering by hand, with drip irrigation or reclaimed water, is OK during daylight hours
  • Adjust sprinklers to avoid overspray, runoff and waste
  • Fix leaks or broken irrigation equipment to reduce waste

Fines for violations of the water use prohibitions have also been reduced and include a warning of non compliance for the first and second offense. For the third and subsequent violations, a fine of $100 per violation will be assessed.

For more information about tools and rebates to help customers stay within their water budgets, visit EVMWD’s website at evmwd.com/conservation.

EVMWD provides service to more than 142,000 water and wastewater customers in a 96-square mile service area in Western Riverside County. The District is a sub-agency of the Western Municipal Water District and a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

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