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Water Shortage Update

August 2022. The City’s water conservation ordinance specifies a 15-minute watering limit for traditional spray sprinklers, but this has been changed to a 10-minute limit effective September 1st per mandate from our water supplier, Metropolitan Water District (MWD). This will not affect most residents as the ordinance already requires that low volume (drip) irrigation systems only be used. It primarily affects exceptions that have been granted for watering on steep slopes and public recreational turf areas. As a reminder there is no time limit for using drip irrigation systems.Faucet_hand_drip

Regardless of whether drip or some other kind of irrigation system is being used, you may only water one day per week (Saturday for odd-numbered addresses, Sunday for even-numbered addresses). That watering must take place before 8:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m.

Hand watering of trees and shrubs is only permitted to keep them alive and must not be abused or used to water lawns.

In good news, the MWD service area as a whole is meeting its required water use target. As a result, MWD has deferred a decision on a complete outdoor watering ban but will be reviewing performance monthly at their Board meeting. The earliest that an outdoor watering ban could now be put in place is October.

Although MWD as a whole is meeting the conservation target, our region, which is served by Calleguas Water District, is not. As of last week, the local agencies were 14% over the district’s target. We are indeed fortunate that other areas have more than met their target, or we could be facing an outdoor watering ban immediately. It’s time for everyone to step up and do their part.

All three water agencies serving the City of Thousand Oaks are over the 106 gallons per capita per day (or gpcd) August target. The annualized target is 80 gpcd, but monthly targets reflect seasonal variation. As of the end of last week, customers in the City’s service area used 145 gpcd or 37% more water than the 106 gpcd target. In the CalAm service area, which covers the western part of the City and Newbury Park, usage is 78% over the target and in the Cal Water service area, which includes Westlake, usage is more than double the target, or 164% above it.

Thank you to the many homeowners that have let their lawns go brown and are making every effort to conserve water. The community has reduced water use by approx. 30 – 35% relative to the two prior summers.  However, too many residents and businesses are not taking this drought seriously and are not fully complying with the restrictions. Moving forward, we will be increasing the use of water meter data to identify and seek out violators as well as enforcement patrols monitoring for compliance.

For more information about the water shortage emergency, visit www.toakswater.org.

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