Drought update: New list of water use restrictions imposed on East Bay residents

East Bay Municipal Utility District postpones water rate increase after December rainfall
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The East Bay Municipal Utility District announced Tuesday a new list of mandatory statewide watering restrictions that are effective immediately.

The list, approved by EBMUD’s board of directors Tuesday, includes limiting watering of outdoor landscapes to twice per week; preventing excessive runoff while watering landscapes; using only hoses with shutoff nozzles to wash vehicles; using a broom or air blower, not water, to clean most driveways, sidewalks and other hard surfaces; and shutting off any fountain or decorative water that doesn’t recirculate water.

The restrictions are a response to ongoing drought conditions. EBMUD is urging customers to comply even though no tickets or fines will be issued to customers who ignore them.

So far, simply asking residents to volunteer cutbacks in water use has worked. In February, EBMUD asked customers to voluntarily cut back water use by 10-percent.

“As of July 31, customers have followed through with a 10.7 percent reduction in water demand,” the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

Even so, drought conditions are so bad that more stringent restrictions are needed to “stretch our supplies in case next winter fails to bring enough snow and rain,” said Board of Directors President Andy Katz.

Residents are encouraged to fix household leaks or install water-efficient fixtures and landscaping. Additional water saving tips and ideas can be found here. Residents can report water waste online here.

The EBMUD supplies water to a 332-square-mile area in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, extending from Crockett in the north, southward to San Lorenzo, eastward from San Francisco Bay to Walnut Creek, and south through the San Ramon Valley, according to the district.