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EBMUD Drought Management Plan Adopted, Rewards Water Conservation

The following came from Andy Katz, Director, East Bay Municipal Utility District:


EBMUD Declares Water Shortage Emergency


At the EBMUD Board of Directors meeting today, the Board declared a water shortage emergency and adopted a drought management plan to ensure there is adequate water supply for future years. 


Drought Management Plan – Responsive to Community Concerns


To ensure adequate storage for future years, EBMUD customers will need to conserve water use by 15%.  I had the opportunity to read a significant amount of comments, mostly from customers who are already conserving as much as they can, and from some households who use as little as 60 gallons per day.  In response to your concerns, we have taken into account families who are already conserving to show that EBMUD is rewarding customers who conserve water as much as possible every year, wet or dry. 


There is a wide range of water use in the EBMUD service area –

-       The average household uses about 200 gallons per day.

-       The top 1% of residential water users consume over 1,000 gallons per day, about 5% of our water.

-       The lowest 18% of residential water users use less than 75 gallons per day, about 2-3% of our water. 


The plan EBMUD adopted includes:


-       Temporary Use Restrictions on: decorative water features that don’t recycle the water, washing vehicles without a hose shutoff nozzle, using water to wash sidewalks and patios, irrigating on consecutive days, and outdoor watering causing excessive runoff. 

-       Public Outreach, Increased Customer Service, and Advertising

-       Increased EBMUD Leak Repairs

-       Temporary Drought Rates

o    10% temporary increase on water rates (not other charges), except for customers consuming less than 100 gallons per day; and

o    Drought Surcharge of $2 per 748 gallons (25 gallons/day) if customers do not conserve half the needed reduction.

§  Single-Family homes charged for water use above 90% of past consumption (last 3 years), except for customers consuming less than 100 gallons per day

§  Multi-Family and commercial customers charged for water use above 94% of past consumption (last 3 years).

o    Exceptions for medical requirements, changes in ownership or occupancy, other factors, undue economic impacts, health and safety emergencies

o    Use $29 million of $43 million contingency and rate stabilization reserve. 

o    No rate impacts for households consuming less than 100 gallons per day. 


The Board will hold a final public hearing on the drought rates on July 8, 2008, and they will go into effect on August 1, 2008. 


Water conservation is essential for getting through the water shortage.  You can find useful information about water conservation and rebates here: http://www.ebmud.com/conserving_&_recycling/residential/


Water Supply Management Plan 2040


EBMUD is also planning for the future with an update to the Water Supply Management Plan for 2040.  The Board will meet to hear public comment in the evening on June 16 in Walnut Creek and June 17 in Oakland, and choose a preferred portfolio for the plan in the morning on June 24 in Oakland.  You can find out more information here: http://www.ebmud.com/water_&_environment/water_supply/water_supply_management_program/default.htm.  


Andy Katz

Director, East Bay Municipal Utility District


To subscribe or remove, or for more information, e-mail Andykatz@sonic.net