Contra Costa Water District General Manager Walter J. Bishop said CCWD is likely looking at mandatory water use restrictions in order to meet severe water allocation restrictions announced by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation today.
The Bureau released its initial water supply forecast for the Central Valley Project on Friday, stating CCWD would receive 50 percent of its contracted supply of water.
The forecast is based on precipitation through Feb. 1, before the latest series of storms swept across the state.
The District is the largest municipal contractor of water from the project.
“This announcement from Reclamation is not a surprise as this is the third consecutive dry year. Fortunately, we have been preparing for this announcement since last year," Mr. Bishop said.
"CCWD has planned ahead," he said "and prepared a drought management program that protects jobs and the local economy, recognizes the conservation measures customers have made and encourages reductions primarily on outdoor water use. The more water you use, the more you will need to save.”
The program will provide water allocations based on customers’ historical water use. CCWD is not raising rates, but customers that do not reduce their consumption would pay penalty charges. CCWD will continue to monitor the water supply outlook and a decision on imposing water use restrictions will be considered at the Board of Directors’ meeting on April 1.
Reclamation’s allocations to CVP contractors are updated each month during the spring and change as the water year develops. The outlook also assumes below-normal precipitation conditions through the spring. Reclamation is expected to update allocations again in mid-March.
Look here for more information on CCWD's proposed water use restrictions.
See Reclamations' news release here.