Mesa Water Passes Conservation Ordinance
As mentioned in an earlier post, the Mesa Water District Board met last night before a standing-room-only crowd at their headquarters and voted unanimously to pass the New Water Conservation Ordinance. The vote was 4-0 because President Shawn Dewane was absent - he was at the Orange County Water District Board meeting for their vote on the Poseidon Desal issue. He's the past president of that board, too.
SOME TINKERING DONE
According to sources within Mesa Water District, the ordinance as proposed was tinkered with by the Board - some necessary fine-tuning to help the District meet the 20% water use reduction mandated by the State of California.
HERE'S A SUMMARY
Here's a little bit of information from the Mesa Water District website this morning - which will also be mailed out to all users as a post card - that will give you an overview of the changes in place: (Click on the image to enlarge it, if necessary)
NEW ORDINANCE AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK
The new ordinance is being modified from the draft document discussed last night and should be available for public observation early next week. When that happens I'll write about this subject again. In my earlier post I provided a chart of the levels of conservation and the details of the Conservation Program in an easy-to-use format. That chart is now out-of-date, so I'll provide you with the new version next week, when it's available.
CUT WATER USE!
In a nutshell, Mesa Water wants us to cut outside use as much as possible. The new ordinance restricts landscape watering to only two days each week - Tuesday and Saturday - and not within 48 hours of a rain event. The ordinance was considered an emergency ordinance, so it is in effect NOW, which means you may not legally water your lawns and planting areas until Tuesday, and only if you must at that time.
PREVIOUS RESTRICTIONS, WILL BE MODIFIED
As a reminder, earlier Mesa Water defined restrictions on water use that are permanent and included in this Conservation Program. Here are the details of those previously-approved restrictions. Some of these will be amended by the new ordinance:
- Limits On Watering Hours: No watering 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., except by hand
- No Excessive Water Flow Or Runoff
- No Washing Down Hard Or Paved Surfaces: Except for health and safety purposes
- Obligation To Fix Leaks: In reasonable time
(within 7 days of notice)(now within 72 hours)
- Fountains: Only with re-circulating water
- Limits On Washing Vehicles: Wash vehicles only with bucket or shut-off nozzle
- Restaurants: Encouraged to only serve water on request
- Hotels: Must provide guests option to not launder linen daily
- No Installation Of Single-Pass Cooling Systems
- No Installation of Non-Re-circulating Car Wash Systems
- Restaurants Must Use Conserving Nozzles
- Commercial Car Wash Systems Use Re-Circulating Water
- Recycled Water Use Required: If available and cost-effective
- Recycled Water - New Service: Required, if available and cost-effective
NEW ORDINANCE PENALTIES
As I mentioned, the new ordinance is the draft ordinance with the modifications imposed by The Board last night. It's basically the Level 1 Water Supply Shortage: Water Alert, but some shifting of priorities was done last night. I'm told that one thing that DID NOT change is the scale for penalties under this new ordinance. The chart for penalties, as extracted from the ordinance, is as follows and are enforceable NOW:
- 1st Violation: Warning
- 2nd Violation: Warning
- 3rd Violation: $100 Fee
- 4th & Subsequent Violation: $200 Fee
- Possibility of Discontinuing Service: For willful violations
And, no... they are not going to be sending the "Water Gestapo" out to cite you. However, if it comes to their attention that you're violating the rules, you will be warned, and warned - per the above. And, if you continue to thumb your nose at this crisis, it will begin to cost you in your wallet.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
So, despite the recent rain, we all must do our part to conserve water. The state says we must save 20%... that's doable. My sweet and very patient wife and I decided to replace our 1,500 square feet of lawn with a water-wise landscape plan, which we just completed. Yeah, OK, we added a porch, too, which took too long for us to take advantage of the rebates from the water district on replacing turf with other plantings - but YOU CAN! Read about that program HERE. This is what it looks like now. A year from now - maybe sooner, depending on how those drought-tolerant plants respond to the loving we're giving them - it will look very different after those plants fill in.