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Elk Grove residents asked to conserve water

This topic contains 31 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  plasmadrive 5 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #174431

    EGL Admin
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    How will you conserve? Less showering, shorter showers, less water on your landscape, washing only full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine?

    I wonder how this will affect car washes?

    http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/22/6094459/elk-grove-leaders-ask-residents.html

    Elk Grove is calling on residents to voluntarily cut back their water use by 20 percent, joining cities across the region that are girding for drought.

    In the wake of Gov. Jerry Brown’s formal drought declaration and dry conditions water watchers haven’t seen in decades, some say voluntary measures do not go far enough. Sacramento and Folsom have already imposed mandatory water restrictions, while Roseville and West Sacramento have asked their residents to voluntarily curb their water use.

    City leaders insist they are satisfied with Elk Grove’s groundwater supply and assurances from Sacramento County Water Agency that it will be able to meet its water delivery guarantees to the county’s second-largest city.

    The Sacramento County Water Agency and Elk Grove Water District have jurisdiction over the city’s water. But city leaders in the resolution pledged to “remain committed to educating the public on water conservation.”

    After Wednesday night’s meeting, Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis called the council’s resolution, “the starting point to trying to get the word out to residents.”

    Urging residents to conserve “is part of the plan,” said Kerri Schmitz, principal civil engineer at Sacramento County Water Agency. “Cities may have water contingency plans, but you want to start with something more palatable – that isn’t quite as scary.”

    Schmitz offered mixed news to council members.

    Among the good news, the agency has adequate supply to meet the demands of users including Elk Grove. The bad news, Folsom Lake is at record lows and threatens to drop even lower as the spring and summer approach.

    “We want to see rain. We want to see a lot of it,” Schmitz said.

    Though Elk Grove doesn’t take its water from the lake, the drought affects all area residents, Schmitz said later.

    “Regionally, we have a water crisis. This is our third dry year in a row. We need to work together as a region.”

    Across town, Elk Grove water officials on Wednesday also planned to formally urge residents to reduce their water use by 20 percent. Much of the city’s water comes from underground, but the city also furnishes water supplied wholesale by Sacramento County.

    “We’ve been assured by the county that they can meet their obligations. They’re feeling pretty good about where they are,” said Mark Madison, general manager of Elk Grove Water District. Madison says his district’s action is a hedge if conditions continue to worsen and sends a united message with other area water agencies on conservation.

    “We say we are stable – through this year,” Madison said. Voluntary use reductions are in place, but water veterans like Madison are well aware that that could change.

    “We’re facing situations that go back to 1977 – maybe worse,” he said, referring to the drought that gripped California. Increased demand nearly 30 years on puts an even greater strain on water systems, he said.

    “We ask our customers to do their best to temper their water use for the sake of the region,” Madison said. “It is obvious that the state is in the midst of a very critical situation. The state is facing a very serious situation.”

    Madison said drought conditions aren’t lost on Elk Grove residents.

    “The public recognizes the severeness of the water crisis – people are trying to cut back and conserve. There’s an overall sense of the need to conserve more than I’ve felt before.”

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/22/6094459/elk-grove-leaders-ask-residents.html#storylink=cpy

  • #263220

    LC
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    Car washes are no longer big water users. Nearly all of the runoff is filtered and recycled.

    My prediction is that commercial properties will get some HUGE surcharges. That’s the Democratic way. Sock it to “the 1% who can most afford it.”

  • #263230

    tomwaltman
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    I lived here through the drought of the 70’s, and I can conserve with the best of them. “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”

  • #263245

    Arbor Tech Services
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    We could really use some water around here.

  • #263238

    kindrlindr
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    Heck no i am not letting it mellow like we did growing up. Gross. My mom used to stand under our bathroom with a broom handle and band on the ceiling if she thought it had been too long. I will let my kids shower every other day. But I am not having pee sit in the toilet. There’s enough of it around the toilet on the floor already.

  • #263235

    pepsilvr
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    I don’t take long showers anyway I would consider turning the water off in the shower if there was a way to gaurantee the water would be the exact temperature I like when I turn it back on. Washing dishes by hand probably uses more water than the dishwasher, unless it is a handful of dishes in that case I wouldn’t turn the dishwasher on anyway. I don’t always have a full load of whites but if it is stuff we need I will wash it anyway even if it isn’t full. We have only been watering the lawn once a week for a while now so I guess we will keep it up. It didn’t get watered at all from Thanksgiving to New Years.

  • #263232

    violarose
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    I remember the drought days. My parents did it very well. Ackkk : ) Our house is already sensible to water usage. A broom vs the hose. Turning the water off when you brush your teeth. We will try. but still hoping for a little rain.

  • #263236

    Scarlet
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    we use to put five gallon buckets in the shower while waiting for it to get hot and then we would water the plants with the water – we can go back to that? Back to the 4 minute showers. Told me kids about it earlier and they thought I was nuts. We use to turn off and on the water in the shower while we were soaping down. We also put something in the tank to use less water while flushing. I think it was like a plastic jug container filled with water.

  • #263234

    lizzie
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    The hardest part is the wait for shower water to get warm. I bought a bucket today. I will use the water to water plants or cleaning. I lived through the drought in 1970’s. Knock on door by my dad “There’s a water shortage on!”

  • #263231

    tomwaltman
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    Bricks. That is what we used in the tank.

  • #263239

    kindrlindr
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    OMG Lizzie, I am sound like my parents. I do the same thing to my kids now. Times up, GET OUT.

  • #263240

    kindrlindr
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    Wouldn’t it just be easier to find a way to redirect the storm front keeping all the moisture in the northeast? They definitely aren’t crying for rain like we are…..

  • #263237

    MooseMom
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    I am going to have to buy several more kitchen timers for the bathrooms. Not a big problem for my shores, but two kids? Yeah. THAT will be a challenge. I already turn off the tap when I brush my teeth. Am figuring out how to do a gravity-feed drip irrigation for the tomatoes and zucchinis this summer… Will water them with the “while it warms up” water from the tub… Now, if I can get my neighbor to get the landlord to FIX the blasted sprinkler head that does the geyser thing over the fence onto my driveway, THAT will be a true blessing!

  • #263227

    newmom
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    Toilets today already use far less water than toilets of the 70’s did.

  • #263244

    mpandgp
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    when we went on a meter, our usage went down. and we’re already trying to cut back more. I won’t be surprised if we lose our lawn this summer. But I would hate to kill off the other plants. the shrubs on our front walk are nearly 20 years old & lovely.My pool wills stay filled though. (It’s the only thing to get me through summers and hot flashes!)

  • #263246

    plasmadrive
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    What I would like to know is what took our elected officials so long to say we have a problem. I don’t just mean EG.. I mean everywhere in the state. How come Folsom Lake had to become a stream before we finally got the “we are in trouble” routine? Someone fell asleep at the wheel here. They should have been doing that call for conservation months ago.. and it should be a mandatory situation for those using Folsom water by now.

    There is just no water….

    At some point the cities are going to have to realize we don’t have the resources to continue on the path of growth that we are on… especially in So Cal. I know this is a hard pill to swallow, but the facts are the facts.. There is not enough water year after year to sustain the growth in California…. Period! This state needs to make some tough realizations and even tough choices…. We have to stop the growth or come up with better sources of water and other required resources for the population…. and I don’t mean stealing water from the north that doesn’t have it, to send it to the south that can’t control their usage…

    Just my two cents..

  • #263221

    LC
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    A Democratic legislature doesn’t want to declare an ecological emergency because it usurps power from the environmentalists who are an important lobby to them. That’s one reason.

    The other is that we operate on hope up to a point. To your point, however, the Alaskan high pressure front that has been holding back precip has been in place for over a year, and scientists have determined that they cannot artificially disrupt a 2,000 mile wide front.

    Most of our California water depends on snowpack, not natural flowing aquifers. When the snowpack is light the water table drops and below ground resources dry up. There is no “alternative” supply other than a pipeline, and we only have that in SoCal from the Colorado River. I’d also note that SoCal reservoirs are ALL at 80% of normal, or better. That is mostly Delta water they’ve received through contract.

    In the latest Bee article, local districts say they can supply all domestic water this year. I find that interesting, given the DWR statement that they can only supply 5% of the water contracts this year for the state. Those statements do not match up.

    We have three major water users. In order of priority, domestic, ag/industrial, fish and wildlife. There are the fishing activists who complain about big ag taking water, but it’s our #1 income producer. Fish and wildlife will be the first to go. Actually, it’s already been devastated on the American, and DFW is trying to shut down fishing because the salmon eggs are being ruined by the asshat fishermen. They are about a month too late.

    SoCal is the biggest enemy to NorCal water users and resources. Unfortunately, SoCal runs the state and the elections. Since the 20s they have been water pirates, and the state has let them do it. The horse is out of the barn, so i don’t know how we stop or reverse the exporting.

    Some communities will rightfully place a moratorium on building permits. Gilroy did that back in the 80s, as did others. Those are all temporary and will be lifted when 1) we get snowpack, or 2) when the political pressures get too great for the local jurisdictions to keep the blocks in place.

  • #263222

    LC
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    This lake storage data is updated by DWR daily. The lakes roughly run from north to south. Note the two large south coast reservoirs, nearly full, courtesy of our Delta.

    Folsom is at 17%, and will probably drop a point within the next couple of days as it’s been there for a few days now.

    Although our main visual is Folsom, the two lakes that matter most are Shasta and Oroville, both at about 36%. These two are the headwaters of the State Water Project and control the major releases into the Delta from the dams impounding the Sacramento and the Feather Rivers. If releases from either get low, the Delta drops quickly, but the SoCal exporting remains, apparently.

  • #263216

    EGL Admin
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    Go So Cal! 🙂

  • #263223

    LC
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    For anyone interested in California water, this aquafornia.com site is very good. They are part of a lobby group. The call themselves impartial, so you know they’re not 😉 but the board is pretty diverse and comprised of water districts, environmental groups, and ag industry leaders. I think they tend to favor ag over much else.

    If you REALLY want to get into the history, Cadillac Desert is a fabulous book (albeit with agenda) that gives the history of the Owens Valley water grab. The movie “Chinatown” addressed it as well.

  • #263219

    bevone
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    I will be putting soaker hoses around the trees and shrubs for watering. The lawns will probably have to go. It looked fine for a few years but has become ratty and I am tired of mowing it. It’s silly to use water for a lawn when food growers need it. I will start by putting some low maintenance low lying shrubs along the sidewalk in my front yard.

  • #263224

    LC
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    Lawns don’t really belong here. They look nice and are good for croquet;-) That’s about the extent of their utility.

  • #263241

    kindrlindr
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    I haven’t had any sprinklers on for months. You can tell too. LOL It’s not totally brown, but there is no lush green either.

  • #263242

    ErinO
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    Last year we stopped watering the lawn in the backyard, since nobody can see it and we added river-rock landscaping in some areas that just really don’t need to be green. Having grown up in Northern California, I’m already water-conservation conscience, so I think we already do a pretty good job of not wasting water (only run full loads of dishes and laundry, quick showers instead of baths, low flow faucets, etc) but our biggest water waste comes from our showers. Both bathrooms in our home are located pretty far from the water heater and it take a while (while water is being wasted) for the water to warm up. I try to have my kids shower sequentially, so one gets in as soon as the other gets out so that they don’t have to wait for the hot water again, but otherwise I’m not sure how to overcome this obvious waste problem.

    I wonder if I should contact my HOA to see what kinds of accommodations they will be making for dry grass issues in my neighborhood. Normally dry grass in the yard would generate a fine from the HOA.

  • #263233

    violarose
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    I love green grass. We probably will rip out our backyard grass this year, but only so I can put in a garden.

  • #263228

    newmom
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    We decreased the size of our front yard grass years ago, but our backyard has a good amount of grass. However, my kids are young enough they still play on it. Soccer, tball, tag…it’s what the grass is for.

  • #263225

    LC
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    I have about 6,000 SF of lawn in front. We don’t play croquet much anymore and spend very little time in the front. It’s a water suck and stupid to have it but the cost of redoing it far outweighs the cost to irrigate for at least 10 years. I might start picking at it but I’m not feeling that ambitious.

  • #263217

    EGL Admin
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    We are on well water, so we pay for our own water, so we’ve always tried to be somewhat water conscious, but we have a lot of landscaping and a large front lawn area. Usually I never water from early November to early March, but I’ve been watering it once a week since mid December. I have to keep the front lawn alive. Too much to redo it and it would look like crap to let it die.

    We went out to Folsom yesterday. We walked down from Beals Point to the water. Pretty decent hike. We might try to go to the marina at Brown’s Ravine and walk in from there towards Mormon Island on a weekday. Guess it was pretty crowded yesterday. One family we talked to went there first and it said there was like 60 cars waiting to get in just to park. Thinking a weekday is better after school.

  • #263229

    newmom
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    Your yards are giant. Compared to most of EG I have a good sized yard. Your yard is HUGE.

  • #263218

    EGL Admin
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    There is more in the back than what you saw. Plus we have a pond area with grass around it. That part is mostly weeds that we mow and I water just enough to keep it from dying. I think we have at least an acre of grass. The owner before us had it all looking immaculate, but he paid to have it done each week. I do my own.

  • #263247

    plasmadrive
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    I have about 5500 sq/ft of front lawn and it make our place look better. I also use the lawn for things like Christmas lights and a place to play with my cat and so on.. Would cost a lot to do something else in the area… and I can’t think of anything I would want there instead..

  • #263243

    jusme
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    @EGL Admin 92080 wrote:

    We are on well water, so we pay for our own water, so we’ve always tried to be somewhat water conscious, but we have a lot of landscaping and a large front lawn area. Usually I never water from early November to early March, but I’ve been watering it once a week since mid December. I have to keep the front lawn alive. Too much to redo it and it would look like crap to let it die.

    We went out to Folsom yesterday. We walked down from Beals Point to the water. Pretty decent hike. We might try to go to the marina at Brown’s Ravine and walk in from there towards Mormon Island on a weekday. Guess it was pretty crowded yesterday. One family we talked to went there first and it said there was like 60 cars waiting to get in just to park. Thinking a weekday is better after school.

    Veering off topic here….
    We went to Folsom Puddle err I mean Folsom Lake Sunday after noon also and it was filled with people who brought little kids, an infant, many, many dogs and horses. We went to the entrance at Douglas Road (I think that’s it) and asked the Park Ranger where was the best place to go to check out Mormon Island, he said at the spot we were at it would be a 3 mile walk!! He told us to go in through Brown’s Ravine where it will only be a 3/4 mile walk to Mormon Island. We traipsed around there and watched kids sinking down to their knees in the mud. One of the men literally was walking on his knees to retrieve a young boy (5 years old +/-), many people got stuck in the mud. One family was lamenting how soft the ground felt and continued to walk into the mud. smh

    We hiked to the other side of Mormon Island which took another hour. Then, we then decided to go check out the Old Salmon Falls Bridge that was visible due to the low water. We parked at the new Salmon Falls Bridge and hiked for 2 miles until we finally saw the old Bridge. Since there were so many people there and I only noticed a few of us walking the 2 mile stretch. I asked some people which way they came in and there I found a shorter route. They Parked at Falcon Crest (a little parking area and a closed boat ramp) which is a short distance from the parking lot for the new Salmon Falls Bridge and hiked down. Since my back and feet (I have back and feet issues) were hurting so bad I thought it would take me a few hours to walk the 2 miles back to where we parked. My boyfriend told me to go up to the boat ramp at Falcon Crest and he would pick me up after he takes the 2 miles walk to the car (such a sweet guy).

    All in all it was fun to go hiking at Folsom and Mormon Island was not as exciting as I thought it would be. Go check out both Mormon Island and old Salmon Falls Bridge, it will be very interesting and you can say in later years that you were actually near the very bottom of Folsom Lake.

  • #263226

    LC
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    Need some extra money and want to earn it without doing a damn thing? Apparently some water districts are offering a “cash for grass” program. Let you lawn die and get paid $1 psf.

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