San Jose Water today announced new rules to limit outdoor watering to two days per week, as city water supplies face extreme drought conditions.
The water company is encouraging its 230,000 customers “to begin conserving water immediately in response to the drought emergency declared by Valley Water, its water wholesaler, which provides approximately 90% of the water supply for SJW customers.”
Mandatory water use restrictions currently focus on outdoor water use, which accounts for half of the average household’s total use. A complete list of rules can be found at www.sjwater.com/drought.
In addition to the watering restrictions, which are effective immediately, all residential, business and commercial customers are asked to cut water usage by 15% from 2019 levels.
“At this time, there will not be any customer drought surcharges (penalties) for excess water use, however, we are asking all of our customers to comply,” the water company said in Wednesday afternoon statement.
“The Company is committed to helping customers with their conservation efforts and providing every opportunity to achieve the targeted usage reduction.”
San Jose Water Works said it will continue to monitor water usage, and if the desired level of conservation is not achieved by Aug. 31, it may need to adjust its rules. This could include the imposition of drought surcharges if required by the California Public Utilities Commission or other government agencies, the company warned its customers.
Under its updated Rule 14.1 Water Shortage Contingency Plan, the water company is aligning this plan with its 2020 Urban Water Management Plan, and activating Stage 3 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan.
The new rules include:
- Limits on watering to two days per week: Watering or irrigation of lawns, landscape or other vegetated areas with potable water is limited to two days per week. Irrigation will be allowed Mondays and Thursdays for odd numbered and numberless addresses, and will be allowed on Tuesdays and Fridays for even numbered addresses.
- Limits on the timing and length of watering: Watering or irrigating of outside plants, lawn, landscape, and turf areas with potable water using a landscape irrigation system or a watering device that is not continuously attended, is limited to no more than 15 minutes of watering per day per station, with no watering between 10am and 8pm.
- Limits on filling decorative fountains or ornamental lakes or ponds: Prohibition of the use of potable water for filling or refilling decorative fountains, ornamental lakes or ponds more than one foot, except when fountains or ponds/lakes are drained for repairs, and except to the extent needed to sustain aquatic life in ponds/lakes, provided that such animals are of significant value and have been actively managed within the water feature prior to declaration of a supply shortage level.
- Limits on washing vehicles: Washing of vehicles, except at a commercial car washing facility that utilizes recycled water or re-circulating water systems to capture or reuse water.
- Limit on the use of potable water for washing buildings: Also structures, sidewalks, walkways, driveways, patios, tennis courts, or other hard-surfaced, non-porous areas, except to protect the health and safety of the public.
Andy Gere, SJW’s President and Chief Operating Officer, acknowledged in a statement the past conservation efforts of customers. “During every drought, our customers have done extraordinarily well saving water to meet our local emergency conditions,” he said. “We ask them again to put conservation at the forefront so we can meet the 15% goal.”
SJW actively promotes water conservation and continues to encourage our customers to conserve and use water wisely at all times.
More information is available at www.sjwater.com/drought for all the latest drought news, water conservation tips, and water use restrictions.