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Livermore Residents Asked to Reduce Water Usage, City Enacts Conservation Rates

Officials say water demand has dropped 10 percent since the mandatory conservation request to cut back 20 percent of usage was made on April 15. Water rates just went up in order to encourage conservation.

Photo credit Morguefile.
Photo credit Morguefile.
The City of Livermore enacted Conservation Rates at the Stage 3 level on April 28, 2014, to help decrease water demand and ensure enough water supply through the summer.

Less than 10% in water use reductions have been achieved since the City's initial call for voluntary 20% conservation earlier this year and subsequent enactment of mandatory conservation measures on April 15.

Conservation Rates were adopted at a Stage 3 level in an effort to achieve at least a 30% reduction in water use. The Conservation Rates affect all City of Livermore Municipal Water customers, both residential and commercial. Exemptions will be made for customers who consistently use very low amounts (5 units or less per month) of water.

"Customers who achieve the targeted level of water use reduction will see little or no change in their monthly bill," says Assistant Public Works Director Darren Greenwood. "Under the rate structure, those using the most water pay considerably more." Added Mr. Greenwood, "The entire Tri-Valley has to cut back on water use as the Tri-Valley water retailers all purchase the bulk of their water from wholesaler Zone 7 Water Agency, and Zone 7 expects to only deliver 75% of water demands."

The City advises that the easiest way to meet conservation goals is to reduce outdoor water usage by half while minimizing indoor usage. Residences without outdoor irrigation are advised to cut their indoor water use as much as possible.

Mandatory conservation measures enacted on April 15 remain unchanged, and the majority of those measures restrict outdoor water use. Measures include limiting landscape irrigation to no more than twice a week, no washing of driveways, sidewalks or other paved surfaces, and washing of vehicles limited to once a month unless a commercial carwash is used. A complete list of measures is available on the City's website at the link below. The City's implementation focus continues to be on those using above-average amounts of water.

Penalties for violation of the mandatory conservation measures also remain unchanged, beginning with an advisory notice for a first violation and escalating fines for repeat violations.

The Stage 3 Conservation Rates with examples of estimated increases for residential customers at different usage levels, a list of mandatory conservation measures, conservation tips and rebates, drought updates, and other information can be found on the City's website at www.cityoflivermore.net/citygov/drought.asp.

Customers are also encouraged to contact the City at the Drought Hotline at (925) 960-8180.

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Becky May 03, 2014 at 11:11 AM
I see so many people over-watering their yards to the point that they are killing their shrubs and lawn. If your lawn has become infested with weed grasses that are naturally brown in the summer, then no amount of water is going to make it green. Yet I see people just watering every day, even twice a day and their lawn still looks brown. I see shrubs dying of root rot, which indicated superfluous water.
Becky May 03, 2014 at 11:15 AM
We have clay soil here; you don't need to water so often.
Beth May 03, 2014 at 12:06 PM
The title of this article should be SOME Livermore Residents Asked to Reduce Water Usage since it only applies to the residents who use the City water. California Water Service customers are not being restricted. If you live on the East end of town you are restricted and punished for using water. Some of the council members who voted for these new mandatory rules are not affected by the rules since they enjoy California Water Service. All the water comes from Zone 7 so the regulations should be applied fairly and consistently throughout the valley and they are not. It's interesting that the only water company that could not manage their supply adequately without rationing is the City of Livermore. The rest of the valley is managing just fine with voluntary cutbacks.
Becky May 03, 2014 at 04:19 PM
It seems like if one end of town has more water, they could sell it to the other end of town.
Shelley May 03, 2014 at 10:25 PM
Who was it who said that if we conserve water, they will raise the rates since they aren't making as much money so they have to try to make up the loss? Step up and be recognized! You were right on the money with that one.

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