EBMUD: 3 San Ramon Valley residents top excessive water-user list

Oakland A's VP Billy Beane 3rd highest, preceded by ex-Chevron exec and Alamo resident

East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) officials fielded questions at a news conference Friday about the district's revelation of a list of 1,108 households that have been penalized for using more than 1,000 gallons of water per day.

EBMUD on Thursday released the identity of customers who in a two-month billing cycle between July and August violated the Excessive Use Policy Ordinance, which imposed fines on suspected water wasters as a reaction to the state's drought.

Third on the list was Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane, who lives in Danville. He was preceded by an Alamo resident and a former Chevron executive who lives in Danville.

Abby Figueroa, spokeswoman for EBMUD, during a press conference Friday morning said this type of information has not been released by EBMUD since 1991, during another tough drought year.

And there are even more customers who are potential violators, Figueroa said, because not all water meters have been read yet. Meaning more names will be released in coming months, she said.

But Figueroa said it was never the intention of EBMUD to discourage water wasting by exposing excessive water users.

"We're protective of our customers' information," she said. Later she added, "We don't believe drought shaming is the way to go."

Figueroa stressed Friday that the release of names, addresses and usage of customers who were penalized for excessive water use was necessary under public records laws.

She also emphasized that all customers were informed about the Excessive Use Policy Ordinance, which went into effect July 1, and those near limits were sent warning letters in advance of their bill.

Under the ordinance, single-family residential customers who use more than 80 units, or 59,840 gallons of water per billing period, are subject to a $2 penalty for each unit over that threshold. Each unit equates to 748 gallons.

Figueroa said customers in the list of violators faced penalties that ranged from the minimum $2 to more than $1,800.

According to a database prepared by the Bay Area News Group, Beane, the Oakland A's executive vice president of baseball operations, makes the list of leading water-wasters.

Beane had the third-highest total of water use at 5,996 gallons per day, according to the compilation of EBMUD data released to some media outlets Thursday.

Alamo resident Mark Pine was second on the list at 8,091 gallons of water per day. And at the top of the list was George Kirkland, of Danville, a former Chevron executive who used 12,579 gallons per day.

Of the top 25 highest water users reported by EBMUD, 10 were in Danville and five were in Alamo, according to the online compilation.

Many of the households that violated the ordinance were in East Bay communities with larger properties, Figueroa said, such as Danville and Alamo. EBMUD expected that would be the case.

"Yet our board drew a line (regardless)," she said. "Because this is the most severe drought in a generation."

This year, EBMUD declared a Stage 4 critical drought and set a community-wide goal to reduce water use 20% compared to 2013.

EBMUD's total water reserves are at 46% capacity, Figueroa said. It has dwindled to well below normal levels, she added.

"And it will only continue until it starts to rain," she said. "When your primary supplier, Mother Nature, isn't delivering, you need to make some adjustments."

— Bay City News Service

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12 people like this
Posted by Skooter
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 19, 2015 at 9:06 am

The penalties are chump change. Put the real hurt on these people with water restrictive devices and fines of $15K and more per month.

5 people like this
Posted by vijaya
a resident of Danville
on Oct 19, 2015 at 12:16 pm

I am happy for EBMUD releasing the names. Drought is real and is threatening us. Everyone should be socially conscious and do their share to handle the problem. It is not the question of affording to pay for water. It is IRRESPONSIBLE.

20 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Oct 20, 2015 at 8:47 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

I’m on that list.

I reduced my water usage by 35%, but I still couldn’t get my usage under 1,000 gallons per day.

Sorry, I have a big yard and lot of plants.

You people with your brown lawns, driving your Priuses covered in dirt, flushing only once a day, you stink.

You think your fake grass & lava rock landscaping make you better than me? Think again.

I’m a vegetarian. Are you? If not, you’re the real water wasters. It takes 1,200 gallons of water to raise a pound of beef and just a fraction of that to grow a pound of vegetables.

Your fake lawn will need to be replaced in about 10 years and it will end up in a landfill. And my yard is an oasis for wild creatures.

Face it, your yards look like crap. And mine looks good. And you’re incredibly cruel to animals. I’m not.

I’m better than you.

You want to solve this water problem? There’s more than enough water to go around without squeezing urban dwellers. Nearly 80% of California’s usable water goes to agriculture and slaughterhouses. Many farmers with senior water rights are not forced to cut back their water usage and are growing water-intensive crops like cotton and rice, yes RICE. It makes more sense to grow that elsewhere. Meanwhile, urban dwellers are forced to reduce water usage by 25%. The state could easily save the same amount of water if it required farms to increase water efficiency by about 5%.

All you water Nazis can bite me.

4 people like this
Posted by Houson Furst
a resident of Diablo
on Oct 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm

No, Hermie -- you're not on the very long list published here: Web Link A mere thousand/day (80 units/60 days), leaves you stuck in the minor leagues of water gluttony. Numero Uno was more than 12 times your drop in the bucket.

I'm not sure why the gold and silver medalists were left out of the article -- you have to work pretty hard to squander with the big pigs --

George Kirkland, and
Mike Pine.

Kirkland the Chevron guy used 35% more than his nearest competition Pine, and more than twice as much as Beane. Was he fracking in one of his basements?

2 people like this
Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2015 at 7:07 am

So Beane has no problem spending money on watering his lawn but won't spend any money on keeping Donaldson, Cespedes, Norris, etc with the A's. Serenity now!

4 people like this
Posted by Houson Furst
a resident of Diablo
on Oct 21, 2015 at 8:59 am

You could say that the A's were watered down, but that's all under the BART bridge. Just imagine the team that Mr. Kirkland could field!

4 people like this
Posted by sponge bob roundpants
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2015 at 2:39 pm

yes Herman Glates, you might be better than me. But my dad can beat up your dad. So there.

Like this comment
Posted by Friend of Danville
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2015 at 9:13 am

Arrogance, Ingnorance, Elitism . . . just some thoughts that come to mind after hearing this news.

Like this comment
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2015 at 9:32 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

I’m not sure what ingnorance is.

But, arrogance, ignorance, and elitism is what comes to mind when I think about finger-pointers like you.

2 people like this
Posted by Skooter
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 22, 2015 at 10:20 am

Check your facts.
50% of all water to fall as rain or snow in CA flows to the ocean untouched and unused by humans due to environmental rules created by the legislature. About 10% is used by the residents, then 80% of the remaining 40% is used by agriculture. Is the snail darter, only 6 of whom were found in the survey this year in the delta, really worth it when the actual reason for its demise are the non-native fish now found in the delta? These non native fish are also killing the salmon.
Seems that the real problem here is in Sacramento.

10 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2015 at 10:32 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

I said “80% of the usable water.”

Wetlands, estuaries, migrating birds, etc. need fresh water.

I don’t need to check anything.

And don’t tell me what to do.

Now, good day to you.

I said GOOD DAY!

2 people like this
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2015 at 12:02 pm

I've long wondered what to do with my obnoxious inherited lawn (or, as my neighbor's call it, "Derek's weed farm"), having pondered almost every option from a small plane landing strip to neighborhood skateboard park to cactus patch. But I think I now see a way to preserve the green. All I need to do is sneak over to Herman's house late at night and dig a well, then pipe it my way. I hope Herman lives nearby cos' pvc ain't cheap!

Thanks for the link Who's on First, and though I doubt any oil executive would be fracking in their own basement, I do believe each one of them should be required to if they are going to lobby for this toxic extraction industry.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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