March 30, 2022
EBMUD response to state drought declaration
OAKLAND – The East Bay Municipal Utility District applauds the state action taken aimed at preserving California’s water supplies during this drought. On April 26, the EBMUD Board of Directors will review our water supply projections for the year and its drought restrictions pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order issued this week.
Although EBMUD ended 2021 at about 150 percent of average precipitation in the Mokelumne River Watershed, which is the source of most of the East Bay’s water supplies, EBMUD will finish the month of March with only a total of 2.5 inches since January – the driest first three months of the year in EBMUD’s history.
Currently, EBMUD’s snowpack is at 60 percent of average; EBMUD reservoirs are 70 percent full; and precipitation in the Mokelumne River watershed is 32 inches, or 79 percent of average. If the weather remains dry, or even average, EBMUD’s reservoirs will not refill this year.
EBMUD, like other urban agencies, is required to maintain a Water Shortage Contingency Plan that outlines the District’s drought response. EBMUD’s plan reflects decades of investment and planning for multi-year droughts and is based on local hydrologic conditions and our customer usage patterns. When water storage levels are low, the EBMUD Board asks customers to conserve and approves the purchase of supplemental supplies. Since October 2021, EBMUD has brought in supplemental water through a contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which accounts for almost an additional 20 percent of our annual supplies.
To date, EBMUD has asked its customers to voluntarily conserve ten percent; conservation stands at 7 percent cumulatively compared to last year. With the start of spring and summer months ahead, EBMUD will ask customers to increase their conservation habits, so we reach our conservation goal by being efficient with water use indoors and outdoors. EBMUD recognizes its customers’ long commitment to water use efficiency, which has resulted in 46 million gallons per day of achieved water conservation since 1995.
EBMUD offers a variety of financial incentives and information to help customers reduce water use, including two new landscape rebate programs. EBMUD asks customers to make every drop count through efficient irrigation, mindful indoor water use, and plumbing leak repairs. Prohibitions against water waste remain in place.
For more information:
- BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Season end water supply update and Board decision on drought stage scheduled on April 26. Visit ebmud.com/board-meetings
- CONSERVATION: Visit ebmud.com/watersmart for more information.
- WATER SUPPLY: Visit ebmud.com/drought for the latest updates on water supply and drought restrictions
The East Bay Municipal Utility District has a proud history of providing high-quality drinking water for 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. EBMUD’s wastewater system serves 740,000 customers and helps protect the ecosystem of San Francisco Bay. EBMUD is a not-for-profit public agency established in 1923.