PERRIS — Eastern Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors on Wednesday, Sept. 2, voted to move into Stage 4b of the District’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan on Wednesday, Sept. 2. The move reduces outdoor water budgets by 30 percent.
Stage 4b allows for reductions of up to 50 percent in outdoor (Tier 2) water budgets as a response to California’s ongoing drought.
The changes will be effective no sooner than Sept. 16. EMWD’s Board delegated to staff the determination on the effective date based on the outcome of a pending meeting with State Water Resources Control Board enforcement staff.
The 30 percent cut in outdoor water budgets is from the baseline figure for each individualized customer account. EMWD has been in Stage 4a – which includes a 10 percent reduction in outdoor budgets and an elimination of Tier 3 pricing – since June 1. Moving to Stage 4b is an additional 20 percent cut for a total of 30 percent.
When it moved the District into Stage 4a on May 8, EMWD’s Board advised that it would consider moving to Stage 4b as early as September if customers had not achieved the targeted reduction level.
While great strides were made, the move to Stage 4b was necessitated because customers failed to meet the State Water Resources Control Board-required 28 percent reduction in water usage. EMWD customers conserved 15 percent in June, 27 percent in July and 18 percent in August, resulting in a cumulative reduction of 20 percent.
“We will continue to work with our residential customers, government agencies and businesses to help them continue to reduce their water usage in order to help us meet the reduction goals,” EMWD President Randy Record said.
All customers are encouraged to stay within their new water budgets. Those customers who exceed their water budgets will be subjected to higher price points. Customers who remain within their new budget will see no increase in pricing on their monthly bills.
As part of its ongoing conservation efforts, EMWD is encouraging its residential, business and governmental customers to take part in a variety of rebate programs that are available, including those for smart irrigation controllers, water-efficient sprinkler nozzles and other devices.
EMWD also encourages members of the community to download its free water waste reporting app for mobile phones or to contact its Water Waste Hotline at (951) 928-3777, ext. 3306, if water waste is identified within the community.
“Decisions like this are difficult, in large part because we know the tremendous efforts our customers have made throughout the past decade,” Record said. “We are in unprecedented times and while we hope this drought ends soon, we sincerely appreciate the continued sacrifices our customers continue to make.”
EMWD is the freshwater, wastewater service and recycled water provider to a 542-square mile area from Moreno Valley southward along the I-215 corridor to Temecula and eastward to Hemet and San Jacinto. Approximately 785,000 people live and work in this area. In addition to its own water customers, EMWD supplements water to six local water agencies and municipalities that have their own water departments. EMWD operates four water reclamation facilities and treats some 46 million gallons of wastewater daily. More information can be found at EMWD’s website www.emwd.org.