Stage 2 Water Reductions in Effect
Despite the fact that our region received some rainfall this past winter, the ongoing drought is still impacting our City’s water supply. The City of Healdsburg’s Water Department offers this FAQ to help answer the most prevalent questions.
Below are the most common questions we have received through the winter months. We hope these answer your questions but if not please contact the City’s Utility Conservation Department by calling 431-3122 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Will there be a need for conservation this summer 2022 and if so, how great?
Yes, restrictions are likely this summer, but the water supply conditions are somewhat improved from last year. We expect that reductions of 20% (Stage 2)* will continue through the summer and fall of 2022. That may change based on rainfall totals for the remainder of the year.
*This year the City has adopted the 6 stages of water conservation based on the recommendations within the 2020 Urban Water Management Plan.
What are the water restrictions currently in place?
The City is currently in Stage 2 with the goal of reducing usage by 20%. Some restrictions include the following:
- Irrigation on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday during early morning and evening hours only (midnight to 7:00 am and 8:00 pm to 11:59 pm)
- No washing of sidewalks, driveways, or other similar hardscapes
- Filling of new or existing swimming pools is only allowed with water from outside the City’s potable water supply.
- Construction must use recycled water for dust control and other construction purposes
- Fix leaks within 72 hours
- All customers have an overall goal of reducing water usage by 20%
As a City water customer, when planning or replacing your landscape, it is strongly recommended that customers consider a long-term drought resilient landscape. Drought tolerant landscapes will be better able to weather the cyclical pattern of wet and dry years that is so prevalent within our region. We do understand the desire to maintain vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Under Stage 2 water restrictions irrigation of vegetable gardens and fruit trees will need to follow the restrictions for other landscape irrigation. We do strongly suggest that mulch, hand watering, and drip-irrigation be used for vegetable gardens and fruit trees.
Are business and tourists required to reduce water usage?
Yes, everyone needs to reduce water usage. Last summer, residents and businesses were able to achieve a 40% reduction by working together towards that goal.
Is the City government subject to the same restrictions?
Yes, the City has exceeded the conservation requirements for all public facilities. With that said, we took a different approach last summer and opted to continue irrigating a limited number of high-use recreation facilities, in order to preserve their availability for youth sports and other outdoor activities. The City exceeded the overall targets by making more drastic reductions in other areas.
What share of our water usage comes from hotels and restaurants?
Based on the most recent data, hotels and restaurants make up about 8% of Healdsburg’s total annual water usage.
How does Healdsburg compare to other cities when it comes to water efficiency?
Healdsburg uses about 50% more water per capita than other cities in the County. This suggests that we have room for more conservation and some ground to make up when it comes to water efficiency within our region, yet we are moving in the right direction.
Will the City of Healdsburg offer recycled water delivery in 2022?
At this time, the City does not intend to re-establish the recycled water hauling program. However, recycled water will remain available, free of charge, at two filling stations just outside of town. Although the program was successful in helping the community achieve high levels of conservation in 2021, it also came at a high price in terms of financial cost and staff capacity. Further, the program resulted in extremely high truck traffic that we do not believe is sustainable for the condition of our roads or the environment. Customers do have the option to contract directly with water haulers to receive recycled water. This is the list of available haulers:
- Cats4U 707-433-8304
- Andy Ramirez 707-495-3566
- American Tank 707-535-1401
- Brian Natsios 415-328-8977
- CD Water Solutions 707-806-4430
Alternatively, customers wishing to haul their own recycled water should call Rob Scates at 431-3369 to make an appointment.
What are the water rebates the City currently offers?
Lawn removal is one of the most effective ways to help reduce the use of water and save money. The City also offers varying rebates for our residents including: lawn removal at $1/square foot, water efficient clothes washers for $50 and low-flow toilets for $110. Saving water is easy and helps reduce costs on your utility bill! Additional information is also available at https://www.healdsburg.gov/723/Water-Rebates
What steps is the City of Healdsburg taking to diversify our water supply and make us more resilient for future droughts?
Healdsburg presently gets about 80% of our water supply from the upper Russian River, making us particularly vulnerable to supply shortages in Lake Mendocino. With that in mind we have been working on the following projects:
- Aquifer Storage and Recovery Wells - Estimated Cost $8.5 million
- Municipal Recycled Water Pipeline - Estimated Cost of $10 million
The pipeline increases water supply by 40 million gallons per year, or 6% of our current demand.The City has applied for Federal and State grants. Responses on the applications are still pending.
How does the management of Lake Mendocino affect Healdsburg’s water supply?
Close management of Lake Mendocino has resulted in storage levels greater than any time during 2021. The January storage target of 40,000AF was met on January 1, 2021 due to early rains. March’s storage target of 59,000AF and has not been met. Until a new storage target is met, flows from Lake Mendocino will be reduced to build and save stored water for the coming summer in 2022.