Amid the statewide drought, customers of Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) have cut back their water consumption by 17.4 % but have not reached the district's goal of 25%, DSRSD officials announced.
"Most of our customers have done a great job using less water because they realize how serious the Tri-Valley's water shortage is," operations manager Dan Gallagher said in a statement last week.
"But we have a lot of warm dry summer weather to get through and there are still a few people who are using too much water. Our customers must continue to keep their water use low, especially during the hot days ahead when irrigation normally peaks," he added.
DSRSD, which provides potable water to Dublin and the Dougherty Valley, is monitoring water use and enforcing consequences for non-compliance. More than 80 DSRSD customers have received fines of either $250 or $500 for not reducing their water usage and violating the mandated water restrictions, according to the district.
"It is not our goal to generate revenue through fines," interim financial services manager John Archer said in a statement. "We want to motivate customers to use less water and money tends to be an effective motivator."
Because it is uncertain when the drought will end, DSRSD is also being cautious of their use of groundwater reserves.
"Although the underground aquifer is large," Gallagher said, "it's like a savings account: if you keep withdrawing money and never put anything back in, eventually it will be empty."
In June, DSRSD opened a "residential recycled water fill station" where residents can take up to 300 gallons of recycled water per visit to irrigate their yards and gardens. The fill station is a free service, and there is no limit on number of visits.
Since its opening, 229,000 gallons of recycled water has been hauled from the fill station by participating residents.
The district has also started "wise water user credit" in an effort to minimize the impact of higher water shortage rates on customers who use less than 10 units (about 125 gallons a day) of water per two-month billing cycle.
Customers who fit the district's criteria are eligible to receive a $2.00 monthly credit. The credits will accumulate and be applied once the drought ends, according to DSRSD.
For weekly conservation updates, visit the DSRSD website.