New conservation plan aims to cut use 20% and stop buying imported water. 

On April 28, the Crestview board adopted a plan of mandatory conservation measures intended to cut total use enough to supply our whole system exclusively with ground water.  Landscape watering will be limited to three days per week, nighttime only, and no more than 15 minutes per station.  There are some other prohibited practices, but hand watering of gardens and trees is not limited.  These rules became effective May 1.

The general manager estimates that a 20% reduction in demand will allow us to stop buying imported water this year.  If we do not buy any imported water, we will not be subject to the very severe restrictions being imposed on others by the Department of Water Resources, the Metropolitan Water District, and Calleguas Municipal Water District.  Among those severe restrictions would be limiting watering to one day per week.  Our lawns would not survive.

The general manager told the board our biggest problem is that owners tend not to tell their gardeners to limit watering, and “many, many are watering five or six days per week.”  If we can get all shareholders to change that and avoid waste like hosing off paved surfaces and failing to detect and fix leaks, we can fully insulate ourselves from the northern California drought.

If the plan does not achieve a 20% reduction in total consumption, the general manager will propose more severe measures for board consideration in July.

Until the Well #4 fiasco, Crestview had the lowest water rates in the region because we have rights to enough–or almost enough–ground water to be independent of imported water, which costs about ten times as much (when it is available, which this year it is not).  Well #4 is probably coming back into production in June, and if we can cut system demand by just 20%, we can once again have low-cost, secure water and be independent of outside regulation.  This looks like a smart policy–much, much better than the alternative.  Let’s make it work.

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