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Thousand Oaks City Council Adopts Level 4 Water Conservation Requirements

 CONTACT: Drought Hotline 805-375-5747 or www.toakswater.org

 

Thousand Oaks City Council Adopts Level 4 Water Conservation Requirements 
 

On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, City Council approved historic Level 4 Water Conservation Requirements. This decision comes amid widespread extreme drought throughout the State. The City must reduce water use by 50% to save enough water to maintain the urban forest and avoid banning all outdoor water use later this year. The key conservation measures include, but are not limited to:  

• 1 day per week watering- Saturday for odd street addresses; Sunday for even addresses.   

• Additional day (Wednesday) for active playing fields in parks, schools, and licensed daycares, and golf fairways and greens.   

• Additional hand watering of trees and shrubs as necessary to keep them alive. 

• No watering from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

• Only low-volume (or low-flow) irrigation systems can be used.

• Pools must be covered.   

• No draining and re-filling of pools or spas.   

• No filling of ornamental water features.   

These measures go into effect immediately. 

The City is primarily served by three water purveyors: California American Water Company (CalAm), with 48 percent of accounts; the City of Thousand Oaks Water Agency with 36 percent; and California Water Service (CalWater) with 16 percent. The three agencies each receive their water through Calleguas, which delivers treated water from MWD to the local agencies’ infrastructure. There are frequent and regular meetings between the agencies and Calleguas to facilitate coordination, outreach, and alignment of measures and strategies. There may be some small differences for each purveyor, but the ordinance and resolution adopted by City Council applies throughout the entire City.   

“The key focus here is to reduce outdoor water use, and lawns are the biggest culprit,” said Public Works Director Cliff Finley. “If we can repurpose our lawns that aren’t used for sports and play, we can save significant amounts of water for maintaining our urban forest.”  

A stay on code enforcement action against brown or dead lawns to support the restrictions on outdoor water use is included in the Council’s resolution. The stay is similar to previous drought restrictions, which allowed for vegetation and lawns to go brown, but requiring weeds to be under control and removing any vegetation presenting a fire hazard. Property owners have six months after the drought is declared over to re-landscape. No new planting is encouraged at this time, and climate-appropriate landscapes are encouraged as a replacement in the future.  

Additionally, property owners have 60 days to convert sprinkler systems to low-volume systems, such as drip irrigation; both are restricted to one day per week watering. These systems are more efficient and effective as they focus the water to the root zone of the plants where it is needed most and reduce overspray and evaporation.   

You can view a full list of conservation measures, FAQs, water purveyor information, and more at toakswater.org

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