With the decision by the State Water Board last month to allow climate-based adjustments to water conservation standards, Calaveras County Water District customers now have a new conservation target of 13%. This is a reduction from the 16% target that CCWD was given in 2015 – a goal that was met and exceeded by almost double.

At the CCWD Board meeting held April 6, General Manager Dave Eggerton informed the Board that, in accordance with the State Water Board climate adjustment, the District is now asking customers for a 13% reduction in water use, compared to 2013 usage.

“We submitted comments on the most recent round of conservation requirements to the State Board, and we are happy to see that some of those have been incorporated to address local climate conditions,” Eggerton said. “That allowed CCWD to have its conservation requirement reduced to 13%.

“Thanks to the community for stepping up and responding to the call for conservation,” he continued. “We are appreciative of the fact that with the reduced conservation requirement we have more flexibility for our community to enjoy the benefits of our local water resources, while using them wisely.”

The climate adjustment could be the beginning of more significant changes to the State-mandated conservation requirements. After four years of exceptional drought, El Nino has improved water supplies across Northern California with increased precipitation and more snowpack. These improved conditions led State Board members to schedule a workshop in Sacramento on April 20 to hear suggestions from water suppliers about the best path forward with water conservation mandates – CCWD will provide the State Board with written and verbal comments. Water Board members have indicated that this workshop could result in an easing of mandatory restrictions, especially in the northern half of the state. The Water Board is expected to make a final decision on May 3.

CCWD is in the process of updating its existing Water Shortage Contingency Plan, which is designed to address the effects of drought and State-mandated conservation requirements. Since the State Board is expected to make a decision next month on water conservation regulations, the District will present its updated plan to the CCWD Board of Directors on May 25. Once the plan is adopted, the District will embark on a public outreach campaign to ensure all customers are notified of the new requirements. Until that time, customers are asked to reduce their water use by 13% compared to 2013 usage.

For more information, email joelm@ccwd.org or call 209-754-3543.

Written by Joel Metzger