Cal Water Files Updated Water Shortage Contingency Plan

As part of its drought management and response plan, Cal Water filed its updated Water Shortage Contingency Plan (Schedule 14.1) with the California Public Utilities Commission yesterday and announced an expanded conservation program to help customers reduce their water use.

Cal Water is currently in Stage 1 of Schedule 14.1, which includes penalties for violating prohibited uses of water established during the last historic drought. The prohibited uses of water include:

  • Applying water to outdoor landscapes that causes runoff onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures
  • Using a hose to wash motor vehicles unless the hose is fitted with a shutoff nozzle or device that causes it to cease dispensing water immediately when not in use
  • Applying water to driveways and sidewalks
  • Using water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, except where the water is part of a recirculating system
  • Applying water to outdoor landscapes during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall
  • Using potable water to irrigate outside of new construction without drip or microspray systems
  • Irrigating outdoors between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., unless local ordinances state otherwise
  • Not repairing leaks within five days of notification

Restaurants may also only serve water upon request, and hotels and motels must offer the option to opt out of daily linen and towel washing services.
While the first violation will typically result in a warning, subsequent violations may carry monetary penalties or restriction of service. Cal Water does not currently plan to implement water budgets in 2021 as part of its drought response, but will continue to monitor local conditions to determine if further steps are needed.

Additionally, Cal Water has doubled rebate amounts offered for large high-efficiency devices such as toilets, urinals, and clothes washers. Full rebate details and qualifying products are listed on the utility’s web site. Cal Water also offers:

  • Free conservation kits with high-efficiency plumbing retrofit devices for residential customers
  • Rebates for outdoor irrigation devices
  • Educational resources
  • A Smart Landscape Tuneup Program that includes an irrigation system evaluation along with installation of approved efficient devices and repair of most irrigation system leaks at no cost

Cal Water expects to launch a drip system conversion rebate and relaunch its turf replacement program, created during the previous drought, later this summer.
“Our customers answered the call to conserve water during the last drought, and we look forward to working with them to reduce their water use again this year,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, President and CEO. “We hope that we will be able to achieve necessary water savings through voluntary conservation efforts; we will continue to monitor conditions in each of our service areas to determine if additional actions are required.”