PERRIS -- Eastern Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors today officially moved the District into Stage 3a of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan.
This marks the first time EMWD – which serves Menifee and surrounding areas – has moved to Stage 3. The move comes as California is in the midst of a historic drought that has depleted reservoirs, groundwater basins and resulted in record-low allocations from the State Water Project.
Stage 3a of EMWD’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan eliminates variances to fill swimming pools and establish new landscaping. It also eliminates variances for leaks that are not repaired within 48 hours.
EMWD has previously granted variances for establishing landscaping or filling swimming pools by offering a temporary increase in the customer’s Tier 2 allocation in EMWD’s allocation-based rate stricture. Under the new regulations, customers can still use the necessary water but will likely go over their water budget, resulting in a higher price point.
California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a drought declaration on Jan. 17 following several years of record-low rain and snow. EMWD moved into Stage 2 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan in April, asking customers for a voluntary 20 percent reduction in usage, including reducing outdoor irrigation by one day per week.
To comply with the State Water Resources Control Board’s recent call to action, EMWD is asking its customers to reduce their outdoor irrigation. EMWD’s Water Use Regulations also require customers to water during nighttime hours and eliminate runoff.
EMWD has also increased its efforts in partnering with customers to eliminate water waste from runoff, the hosing down of driveways or from washing cars. Those regulations are in sync with the recently-adopted state regulations.
Customers who are identified as having wasted water will receive a warning letter from EMWD. Following one warning letter, fines will be instituted, starting at $25 for residential customers and $100 for commercial customers.
EMWD staff must witness the second violation for a fine to be issued. The District is adding temporary staff to help customers curtail water waste.
To report suspected water waste, customers are asked to contact EMWD’s Conservation Department’s Water Waste Hotline at 951-928-3777, ext. 3306.
Information about EMWD’s conservation programs and rebates can be found online at www.emwd.org.