With the hot summer still in swing, Palo Alto is forging ahead toward meeting its state-mandated water-use-reduction rates, the city's Utilities Department announced on Thursday, July 23.
Palo Alto must reduce its citywide water use by 24 percent between June 1, 2015, through February 28, 2016, compared to water use for the same period in 2013. The city reached a nearly 36 percent reduction for the month of June, but more must be done to sustain the lowered water use in the coming months, utilities officials said.
"While all of Santa Clara County and Palo Alto's water savings for June are encouraging, we still have a long way to go until the end of February, when the state will review agencies' successes toward meeting water use reduction mandates. The entire community will need to work hard to achieve water savings during the hot summer months," the city said in an announcement.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District is hoping to achieve a cumulative, countywide 30 percent reduction in 2015 to prevent further depletion of groundwater supplies, it noted in a press release ahead of a scheduled water-conservation update held on Thursday at its district office.
Each water retailer in the county has its own state-mandated water-use-reduction percentage. But in March, the water district board also asked county retailers to reduce water use 30 percent to help preserve local surface and groundwater supplies during the drought. The water district then asked retail agencies to help the county exceed its 30 percent goal to make up for the early months of 2015, when conservation rates came short of meeting the target.
In May, Santa Clara County's 36 percent water-use reduction helped boost California's overall savings to 29 percent, even before mandatory statewide conservation requirements began in June, the district noted.
As part of the countywide goal, Palo Alto is working to improve water-use efficiency at city facilities, including detailed plans for reducing irrigation in park areas that are not used for active play, utilities spokeswoman Catherine Elvert said.
The city is asking Palo Altans to help identify leaks or other areas of water waste through the PaloAlto311 app or by communicating on any drought-related topic by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A full list of water-use restrictions, frequently asked questions and resources for water efficiency can be found at cityofpaloalto.org/water or by calling 650-329-2161.
The city will host a Water Conservation 101 workshop on Aug. 13 7-9 p.m. Details and registration are available at cityofpaloalto.org/workshops.