As the City's Utility Department works to supply Healdsburg's electricity, water, wastewater needs, we are keenly aware of the importance of using these resources efficiently and effectively. Just as it is our responsibility to reliably deliver these services to our customers, it is also our responsibility to provide our customers with information, opportunities, and incentives to help them use these resources efficiently and effectively.
Changes to State Mandated Water Conservation Measures in Force
On May 18, 2016 the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a new emergency water conservation regulation that replaces last year's regulation. Instead of mandating a statewide water conservation target, the new regulation requires all urban water suppliers to conduct a local "stress test" calculation to determine what conservation level is needed for the supplier's area.
The new standards require water suppliers to ensure a three-year supply assuming three more dry years like the ones the state experienced from 2013 to 2015. Water suppliers that would face shortages under these conditions will be required to meet a conservation standard equal to the amount of the shortage.
In addition, the emergency regulation extended the current restrictions of water use:
Using potable water to wash sidewalks and driveways;
Allowing runoff when irrigating with potable water;
Irrigating during or within 48 hours of measurable rainfall; and
Using hoses with no shutoff nozzles to wash vehicles.
This regulation will be in effect until January 2017, at which point the State Board will reevaluate water and conservation conditions.
What does this mean for the City?
The City's short- and long-term water supply is in very good condition. Even with three more years of dry conditions, like those from 2013-2015, there would be adequate water supply to provide to customers. Because of this, the City will not have a mandatory water conservation target imposed by the state.
Just because our water supply is reliable, doesn't mean that we should let go of the conservation we've achieved over the last two years or stop focusing on the importance of using water wisely.
Water is a limited resource with demands from humans, animals, vegetation, bodies of water, and others. It is a critical part of our local and global ecosystems, and is imperative that we preserve it's long-term viability.
The City will continue to offer water conservation rebates and programs to help customers reduce water consumption. Check out our water rebates page for more information.