Watering

The Davis City Council on Tuesday approved mandatory water restrictions that will reduce to two days a week the number of times residences and businesses may water their lawns with sprinklers.

The council also reaffirmed a previous request they issued for a voluntary 15-percent reduction in water usage citywide.

Gov. Gavin Newsom called for a 15 percent reduction back in July, but statewide water usage has been reduced by only five percent and even less in Davis.

Under the mandatory restrictions approved on Tuesday, Davis water customers with odd-numbered addresses may water with sprinklers on Tuesdays and Saturdays and those with even-numbered addresses on Wednesdays and Sundays.

The restrictions will go into effect on Nov. 1 and last until the end of February, at which time the frequency will be increased from two days a week to three.

“We thank our water customers for their ongoing water conservation efforts,” said Mayor Gloria Partida.

“Further reducing water usage in the winter months, when landscapes need less water, will aid the community to be proactive stewards of the city’s environmental resources, and work toward meeting the voluntary state-wide reduction goals.”

Ongoing drought conditions in California have contributed to the city relying on groundwater supplies more heavily, as surface water from the Sacramento River is more limited.

“Through the winter months, it is anticipated that surface water will make up approximately 50 percent of the winter water supply, similar to this past summer,” a press release from the city noted.

“In most years, surface water provides approximately 90 percent of the winter water supply. Water conservation can help to reduce water demands city-wide, and ensure that resources are being used as efficiently as possible.”

The new restrictions apply only to sprinkler and spray irrigation and not to other methods such as drip systems and hand watering. Likewise, tree watering is not limited under the restrictions. According to the city, young trees should be given 10 gallons of water once a week while mature trees need supplemental water once per month during hot and dry weather and twice per month during prolonged heat waves. For more information on tree watering, visit https://www.cityofdavis.org/city-hall/urban-forestry and https://www.treedavis.org/learn-explore

City staff cited three reasons for seeking these mandatory restrictions:

* To assist the city in reducing water usage through the winter months;

* To bring the city closer to meeting Newsom’s call for a voluntary 15 percent reduction in water use; and

* To prepare the city for potential mandatory state reduction requirements in 2022 and reduced water availability if the drought continues.

Enforcement will fall under the city’s standard operating procedures for residential water waste complaints. Those procedures include four escalating steps, beginning with a door hanger reminding the user of the restrictions and ending with a notice of violation being issued with the potential for a fine included.

Other actions Davis residents can take to reduce their outdoor water usage, according to the city, include:

* Keeping irrigation efficient and fixing leaks. A hole as small as the tip of a pen in an irrigation line can waste as much as 6,300 gallons of water per month. Check your irrigation system (spray or drip) for leaks.

* Watering late at night or early in the morning. This can save 25 gallons each time you water.

* Placing mulch around trees and plants. Mulch helps to reduce moisture evaporation from your soil and can save 20 to 30 gallons each time you water.

* Prioritizing your plantings. Prioritize tree watering over turf to ensure that trees are receiving adequate water.

* Using AquaHawk to manage your water usage. Careful water-use management is the best tool to use to catch and repair irrigation issues and leaks more quickly. If you aren’t already registered, learn more at www.SaveDavisWater.org

For longer-term ways to reduce water use, the city encourages the community to consider utilizing greywater to supplement irrigation, harvesting rainwater in the winter months, modernizing your appliances, switching to drip irrigation, or converting unused turf to low water-use plants.

In addition to the new restrictions on outdoor watering, the following restrictions also remain in place:

* No watering outdoors between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

* No watering during periods of rain or for 48 hours after measurable rainfall

* No excessive water flow or runoff onto pavement, gutters or ditches

* No washing down paved surfaces unless for safety or sanitation

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy.

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Source : https://www.davisenterprise.com/news/city-council-approves-restrictions-on-watering/

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