Drought

Stage 4 Drought -- water supply criticalRecent rains have brought much needed water supplies to EBMUD reservoirs, but the four-year drought took a toll that will not be fixed with one season of storms.

We remain in Stage 4 drought and continue to wait as our water experts and the state assess our snow levels and Governor Brown makes a determination on the water needs of California as a whole. 

Our board will decide the appropriate drought stage in May for the year to come, based on the most current state water projection information. Please check back with us then! In the meantime, we thank our customers for making water conservation a way of life in the East Bay and ask that you keep it up.

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Water Supply Update
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Daily water supply report (detailed data)

Mandatory water restrictions in effect

What's required for everyone:

  • Water no more than two days per week with no runoff. 

  • No watering of ornamental turf on public street medians allowed.
  • No washing of driveways and sidewalks; except as needed for health and safety.
  • Use only hoses with shutoff nozzles to wash vehicles.
  • Turn off fountains or decorative water features unless the water is recirculated. 
  • Use of hydrant water outside the EBMUD service area is prohibited.
  • 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.

What's required for businesses: 

  • Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers upon request.
  • Hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of not having their towels and linens washed daily.

New rates

At a public hearing on June 9, 2015, the EBMUD Board of Directors adopted new rates. Rate increases fund ongoing services and investments in our aging infrastructure. A temporary Stage 4 drought surcharge of up to 25% will pay for the costs of purchasing extra water supplies, additional conservation services and enforcement of water use restrictions.

The new rates and the drought surcharge took effect July 1, 2015. The drought surcharge will apply to customer flow charges until further notice. 

The average household using 10 units per month (246 gallons per day), who does not conserve, will see their bill increase by $11.65 starting July 1 under the adopted temporary drought surcharges and the regular rate increase. If conditions improve to Stage 1 or 0, the drought surcharge will be removed.  

More conservation needed 

Indoors - Strive for 35 gallons per day usageIf you already conserve, thank you. Please keep looking for ways to conserve and check regularly for leaks--silent leaks are common and use a lot of water.

Twenty percent is our community-wide goal. You may be able to save more or you may already be doing all you can to conserve indoors and out. 

How do you know if you are doing all you can? Strive for 35 gallons per person per day indoors and follow the mandatory outdoor use rules.

Conservation alone is not enough

After four years of drought, EBMUD made up for shortages last year by purchasing 19 billion gallons of water, or about a four-month supply of water, from the Sacramento River.

This emergency water traveled to local reservoirs via the Freeport Regional Water Facility, which EBMUD completed in 2011 precisely for crises such as this severe drought. 

Excessive use penalty suspended amid improved drought conditions 

After a wet winter that restored reservoirs to healthy levels, the East Bay Municipal Utility District Board of Directors voted unanimously to suspend the Excessive Water Use Penalty Ordinance, which levied fines on customers who used more than 80 units of water per billing cycle. The suspension will take effect on May 3, 2016.  

Customer assistance

If you are a low-income residential customer or are experiencing financial hardship, please call 1-866-403-2683 to learn about our Customer Assistance Program.


Tools to save water

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

 
Rebates and free items

 
Report water waste

  
WaterSmart Calculator

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.


Water Supply Briefings

Below find Water Supply Briefings and other drought-related documents. Visit the Board of Directors Meeting page to view other documents and presentations. 

Fact sheets