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Mandatory Water Conservation For Sacramento?

City staff says low levels at Folsom Lake on the American River, and a Sacramento River water treatment plant that's offline, created the need for mandatory conservation. 

Jessica Hess with the City says a declaration on Tuesday night by the council would trigger a mandatory 20-percent reduction in water use by everyone in the city.

"We estimate that 20-percent reduction for most single-family residences is gonna come to about 84 gallons per day," she says. "And that's really something that folks can achieve by making small and simple changes to what they do every day."

The City says there are many ways businesses can help conserve.

"We'd like them to consider things like asking customers regarding serving water before they serve it" Hess says. "We're also asking them to consider things like when they wash the sidewalks out in front of their businesses to limit that to what's really necessary for public health and safety."

Hess says people at home can limit the use of bathroom faucets and save up to two-and-a-half gallons per minute. 

Running a full load of laundry can save up to 50 gallons of water.

Many people can hit the target by reducing lawn watering to one day-a-week.

"We are down to a one day-a-week watering on Saturday or Sunday only," says Hess. "So if our inspectors are out and see someone watering on a weekday, they'll be stopping to first educate and then to  provide a notice of violation."

Hess says fines could reach $1,000 for multiple offenses.

Folsom is already under a mandatory 20-percent reduction order.

San Juan and Sacramento County water districts are still asking for voluntary conservation.

Water Conservation Tips

  • Following the City’s one-day-a-week watering rule this winter (more than 500 gallons per week)
  • Turn off faucet while brushing teeth (2.5 gallons per minute)
  • Turn off faucet while washing dishes (2.5 gallons per minute)
  • Taking shorter showers (2.5 gallons per minute)
  • Run washing machine only when full (15-50 gallons per load)
  • Adding an aerator to sink faucet (5 gallons per day)
  • Using irrigation before 10 a.m. and after 7 p.m. on your watering day (20-25 gallons per watering day)
  • Adjusting sprinklers to prevent overspray and water waste (15-25 gallons per watering day)
  • Replacing toilets with a high-efficiency model (1.28 gallons or less per flush) saves approximately 5.5 gallons of water per flush (the City has rebates for customers who replace their toilets as well).
  • Repairing irrigation leaks or broken sprinkler heads (20 gallons per day)
Folsom Lake -levels
Melody Stone / Capital Public Radio

Below are pictures of Brown's Ravine at Folsom Lake first on July 30, 2013 and then again on January 8, 2014

0113 Conserve Before

0113 Conserve After

011414_Water Shortage Contingency Plan

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