OMWD Board of Directors Declares Level 2 Water Supply Shortage

Mandatory Water Use Restrictions Become Effective August 1

At its July 23 meeting, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors declared a Level 2 Water Supply Shortage. The declaration will implement mandatory water use restrictions for OMWD customers effective August 1, 2014.

The declaration is responsive to emergency regulations approved on July 15 by California’s State Water Resources Control Board requiring water suppliers throughout the state to implement the stage of their water shortage contingency plans that impose mandatory restrictions on outdoor irrigation. These regulations were designed to limit outdoor irrigation and eliminate other wasteful practices.

“We are in the midst of a historic drought, and the regulations recently imposed by the State Board remind us of the critical importance of doing all we can to conserve water,” said Board President Larry Watt. “The move to a Level 2 Water Supply Shortage is an important step to ensure that there is enough water in reserves to meet demands into 2015. OMWD has been consistently proactive in managing our water supply, and this decision is consistent with that philosophy.”

The Level 2 Water Supply Shortage implements the following water use restrictions:

  1. No washing down surfaces, unless to alleviate a health or safety hazard.
  2. No water waste from inefficient irrigation.
  3. Do not irrigate between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  4. To irrigate landscaping not irrigated by a landscape irrigation system, use a hand-held hose only when equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle or bucket.
  5. Do not irrigate nursery and commercial grower’s products between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  6. Repair all leaks within 72 hours.
  7. The following irrigation schedule is in effect, unless recycled water is used for irrigation:
    1. Odd numbered houses may irrigate on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
    2. Even numbered houses may irrigate on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
    3. Multi-family accounts and non-residential accounts may water on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  8. Watering is limited to 10 minutes per station per day, unless you use a weather based irrigation controller, drip/micro-irrigation system, stream rotor sprinklers, or recycled water for irrigation.

OMWD had been in a Level 1 Water Supply Shortage since July of 2010 as a precaution against worsening drought conditions.

OMWD’s Level 2 declaration was made in anticipation of a similar declaration to be considered by the San Diego County Water Authority on July 24, 2014. Water agencies countywide are expected to follow SDCWA into a Level 2 Water Supply Shortage.

The continuing drought and other water supply challenges have highlighted the importance of OMWD’s effort to diversify its water supply to reduce reliance on imported water. OMWD will soon break ground on the Village Park Recycled Water Project, which will ultimately offset up to 350 acre-feet per year of potable water use with recycled water in Encinitas’ Village Park neighborhood. OMWD also continues to explore the feasibility of a brackish groundwater desalination facility in its service area. Additionally, OMWD will benefit from completion of the Carlsbad Desalination Facility, which is currently ahead of schedule and expected to produce desalinated seawater for potable use by late 2015.

OMWD’s Board of Directors will consider at its August 13 meeting whether it is necessary to implement Level 2 water rates and the moratorium on new water meters associated with a Level 2 condition.