Drought Update

Drought Update

The drought continues: your action needed

EBMUD asks you to cut back your water use even further from 10 percent in 2014 to 15 percent in 2015, because of the continued drought. If needed, EBMUD is prepared to purchase Sacramento River water from our contract with the federal government to supplement our regular water supplies from the Mokelumne River.

The decision to take supplemental supplies has been delayed thanks to:

Your conservation efforts. 

December rains in the East Bay which added to local reservoirs plus precipitation in the Mokelumne watershed.

Modest improvements in the state’s water supply situation, reducing the risk of severe cutbacks to our supplemental supplies. 

In fall 2014, the EBMUD Board of Directors sought public input on the potential purchase of supplemental water and drought rates at community meetings held in Walnut Creek, Richmond, Oakland and Castro Valley.

California's emergency water conservation restrictions

We remind East Bay residents and businesses that water is too precious to waste. Until further notice, all EBMUD customers are required to:

Limit watering of outdoor landscapes to two times per week maximum and prevent excess runoff.

Use only hoses with shutoff nozzles to wash vehicles.

Use a broom or air blower, not water, to clean hard surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks, except as needed for health and safety purposes.

Turn off any fountain or decorative water feature unless the water is recirculated.

Have you seen water being wasted? Report water waste here

5 simple steps to save 15%

If the idea of cutting back your water use further makes your head spin, you’ve come to the right place. The pros at EBMUD offer ways to help you cut back water use 15 percent—the new conservation goal for 2015 set in response to the drought.

Rebate redemption. If you are on the market for a new washing machine or
toilet, switch to a high-efficiency model and cash in on rebates offered by EBMUD.

Find and fix leaks. Uncover those sneaky leaks and water-wasting fixtures with our free WaterSmart Home Survey Kit.

Do the math. With our home water use calculator you’ll be surprised by how
much water you actually use each day. Get ready for a reality check.

Goodbye lawn, hello rebate. Make the shift to a sustainable landscape or
upgrade to high-efficiency irrigation equipment
and qualify for a rebate.

Mulch much? Called a gardener’s best friend, mulch helps soil retain moisture, stifles weeds and beautifies your garden. What else could you want? How about mulch coupons?

 

Visit the EBMUD WaterSmart Center, and see Save our Water for even more tools to help you conserve.

 

 

Drought history: how did we get here?

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 increasing available water supplies and making conservation a way of life in the East Bay.

Today, the East Bay is better prepared to cope with a severe drought than it has ever been.

Over the past 10 years, customers have reduced their water use by 20 percent. Additionally, EBMUD has invested nearly $1 billion in the past decade on additional water supplies, recycled water projects and conservation programs. Today, thanks to ratepayer investment and customer conservation, EBMUD can handle short-term droughts better than in previous droughts.

EBMUD monitors precipitation and reservoir levels daily. As of January 1, EBMUD had 419,400 acre feet of water stored in all its reservoirs combined. That is 55 percent full or 76 percent of average. Reduced runoff from last winter's storms means EBMUD reservoirs did not refill this year.

What’s next?

Statewide mandatory limits on outdoor water use and waste are in effect until further notice. EBMUD adopted a local regulation to support the state's efforts.

To make sure we have enough water supplies, EBMUD adopted new emergency measures effective January 2015. Customers are asked to cut back water use 15 percent. Since conservation alone is not enough, EBMUD may purchase supplemental water supplies as needed from the Sacramento River this spring.

Board Briefings

Board meeting documents and presentations can be viewed on the Regular Board Meetings page.  The documents below are PDF files which can be viewed and printed with Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free software utility.

Fact Sheets