Escondido, CA
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Rincon Water applauds decision lifting emergency drought regulations

As many of you have seen or heard, the Governor issued Executive Order B-40-17 on April 7 rescinding the emergency drought regulations.  Rincon Water applauds the Governor’s decision, as it recognizes the significant precipitation California has received the last several months which has filled majority of California reservoirs to full! It also recognizes the contributions conservation has made since 2015, with over 22 percent water conserved across the state since emergency regulations were put in place.  Rincon Water would like to commend our customers for their efforts, as you have cumulatively saved almost 29% since June 2015 – a job well done!

Even though the drought emergency is over for now, the Executive Order and State Water Board regulations maintain permanent water conservation measures, continues the required monthly reporting by urban water agencies, and instructs state agencies to develop long-term permanent water standards/use efficiencies as highlighted in the April 2017 final report “Making Conservation a California Way of Life,” Implementing EO B-37-16.

The State Water Board, Department of Water Resources and other state agencies are now proposing long-term water use restrictions that will have a significant impact to the way the District operates, proposing to allocate a certain amount of water to the District, no matter how much we have available or in reserve, will impact the local economy, and will increase rates without legitimate reason.

“Along with sister agencies and the Association of California Water Agencies, we are working with our local legislators to make sure control of our water and its use remains a local control issue – not under the auspices of appointed bureaucrats in Sacramento with unfettered authority and no accountability to any ratepayer,” stated James Murtland, president of the board of directors.

“Now that the emergency regulations have been lifted, customers are not mandated with any specific conservation percentage on water use, such as limiting irrigation to no more than three days a week, etc., however, the District remains in Level 1, Voluntary actions. In fact, the almost 29% reduction in water use has resulted in negative revenues to expenses, and the District is meeting this shortfall through Drought Level 1 Rates, cancelling or deferring needed CIP projects, and cutting operating expenses to minimize rate impacts to the customer,” General Manager Thomas states.  “With that said, we continue to promote water conservation, and many of the water use restrictions, such as using an automatic shut-off nozzle on hoses, no washing of sidewalks with water, no watering lawns within 48 hours of measurable rainfall, etc., remain in place and are part of our permanent water conservation ethics, and because that is the right thing to do.”

Going forward, and working with our wholesale supplier, the San Diego County Water Authority, Rincon Water and the region has enough supplies for the next 4-5 years, due to investments in regional storage, the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, and development of locally controlled, drought-proof water supplies, such as recycled water.  These are efforts and investments that continue to pay off in both the short and long-term states Board President Murtland.

Again, the District would like to thank our many customers who have been doing a great job becoming very efficient at reducing water use by incorporating water restrictions and best management practices into their daily water conservation ethic.  Conservation is a way of life in California, and we must all work together to continue to preserve and conserve this vital resource.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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