Latest Water Supply Update
In one of the driest years ever,
EBMUD asks the East Bay to stretch
its water supplies.
Due to excessively dry conditions in the Mokelumne River watershed where most of the East Bay’s water originates, and a pessimistic forecast for the rest of the rainy season, EBMUD asks all its customers to cut back their water use by ten percent.
EBMUD monitors precipitation and reservoir levels daily. As of February 25, 2014, EBMUD had 476,880 acre feet of water stored in all its reservoirs combined. Our reservoirs are more than half full, or 82 percent of average. Precipitation since July in the Mokelumne basin was 14.94 inches, which is 46 percent of average.
Without enough precipitation, EBMUD may declare a water shortage emergency this spring.
When spring and summer arrive and temperatures rise, water use will increase as it does every year. Voluntarily cutting back water use now will stretch supplies in anticipation of this summer’s increased demand for water.
What happens next?
In 1976-77, East Bay residents and the East Bay economy felt the pain of severe mandatory water rationing. To prevent such hardship from occurring again, EBMUD invested for more than three decades in improving the water supply and making conservation a way of life in the East Bay.
Today, the East Bay is better prepared than it has ever been to cope with a severe drought.
This year, if needed, EBMUD can purchase additional (though costlier) supplies of water from the Sacramento River. To cover the costs of buying, treating and delivering this dry year water supply, the average household's monthly water costs may increase temporarily by about $6.
More voluntary cutbacks or mandatory rationing remain possibilities if conditions worsen.
How to cut ten percent
Since the last drought ended in 2009, customers have cut back 17 percent. To everyone who has made conservation a way of life, we thank you.
To stretch our supply even more this year, we ask you to cut ten percent of your current water use.
EBMUD is fortunate that employees and customers alike are conservation minded. We promise that if mandatory rationing becomes necessary, customer allocations won't be based on use during this voluntary cutback period.
What you can do today is
- Slow your flow. Use our WaterSmart Home Survey Kit to evaluate your home’s water use and find leaks and inefficient fixtures.
- Find and fix leaks. Toilet and irrigation systems contain some of the biggest and sneakiest leaks.
- Turn off or reduce your outdoor irrigation. It may be a drought, but it’s still winter. Nights are cool, days are short and many plants don’t need to be watered as much or at all.
- Upgrade appliances and plumbing fixtures to more water efficient models. EBMUD currently offers water conservation rebates to customers for toilets and washing machines.
- Convert your thirsty lawn to a sustainable landscape and upgrade your irrigation equipment to efficient drip systems and self-adjusting controllers. Rebates are available for single- and multi-family residences and commercial customers.
Visit the WaterSmart Center for more tips to guide all customers in conserving precious water and fixing water-wasting leaks.