Metropolitan Water District, which supplies our imported water through Calleguas, will hold a special board meeting April 26 to consider adopting mandatory water use restrictions. The latest draft of what will be considered would:
a. Limit landscape watering to one day per week . . .;
b. Require [Calleguas] . . . to adopt and implement effective enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with this limit: and
c. Impose volumetric penalties of up to $2,000 per acre-foot for non-compliance.
The one-day-per-week watering limitation would be effective immediately; any penalties for non-compliance would be assessed beginning June 1, 2022. If needed, the second phase of this program would involve a complete ban on landscape watering . . . .
As reported here, an earlier draft proposed escalating prices as MWD’s means of enforcement, but the new proposal relies on “more expedient . . . . non-price mechanisms to reduce outdoor watering.” Both Calleguas and Crestview must adopt by May 31 and enforce rules restricting outdoor use. If that does not work to MWD’s satisfaction, MWD could impose a total ban on outdoor watering, and/or replace or supplement the ban with a system of escalating surcharges to Calleguas—which would be passed through to Crestview.
Under the proposed rule, watering would be limited to 8 minutes per station. It is unstated whether the same limit would apply to drip irrigation.
Other non-essential uses, such as filling swimming pools and fountains and washing cars, would be banned.
An exception—which may be important to Crestview—is that “an agency can entirely avoid these outdoor watering restriction and penalties if it takes sufficient action to entirely eliminate its use of SWP supplies.” Since Crestview gets only 20% of its water from the State Water Project, it may be able to avoid MWD’s watering restrictions if we can reduce our consumption by 20% with less draconian restrictions. Would limiting outdoor watering to twice per week accomplish that?
We fervently hope Crestview’s board and staff are working urgently to develop the best plan for us and, if necessary, to lobby MWD well before April 26.