200+ Alamo residents make EBMUD water-waster list


The East Bay Municipal Utility District on Thursday released another list of more than 700 customers who have been fined for wasting water.

The list features violators of the Excessive Water Use Ordinance, who in a two-month billing cycle ending in November or December used more than an average of 1,000 gallons of water per day at their homes. The ordinance, which kicked in on July 1 as a response to the state's continued drought, imposes fines on suspected water wasters.

EBMUD has been periodically releasing names of violators of the ordinance, which fines single-family residential customers $2 for each unit -- or 748 gallons -- that is used over an 80-unit threshold.

High on EBMUD's list for this billing cycle was Danville resident Heidi Ridley, an executive at an investment firm. An average use of 6,719 gallons of water per day was reported at her residence.

UC Berkeley professor Richard Taruskin, a prominent music historian, was not far behind in terms of water use. Utility officials reported an average daily 5,747-gallon use at his home in El Cerrito, a city that had only two other violators of the excessive use ordinance.

Alamo by far had the most violators, with more than 200 residents on the list.

Topping the list in Alamo was former Safeway chief executive officer Steven Burd. Utility officials noted that Burd did reduce the water use at his home from 7,255 gallons of water per day in a previously billing cycle to 4,313 gallons this time around.

Another major reduction in water use was Diablo resident Kumarakulasingam Suriyakumar, who topped a EBMUD list in October with a reported 9,612-gallon average use. The Walnut Creek-based document solutions company CEO this time had a reported 5,248-gallon use.

Overall, more than 400 customers reappeared on the most recent list, but there was a collective reduction in water use among repeat violators of 28%, EBMUD spokeswoman Abby Figueroa said.

Figueroa added that it's hard to tell how much the reduced water use is a result of the fines and how much is a product of the winter season.

Editor's note: A previous version of this Bay City News Service story included incorrect data provided by EBMUD identifying Alamo resident Kevin Degnan as the heaviest water user during the two-month billing cycle ending in November or December, according to BCN.

— Bay City News Service

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5 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Danville
on Jan 14, 2016 at 5:19 pm

I did a quick calc of the "fine" EBMUD would have imposed on Mr. Degnan - about $530 per month. Likely a "drop in the bucket" for him. Not much of a deterrent.

6 people like this
Posted by FanDanville
a resident of Danville
on Jan 15, 2016 at 11:03 am

Fine of "$2 for each unit -- or 748 gallons "

Yes, the fine seems infinitesimally small. Geesh!

How about $1 per gallon.....or $1 per two gallons, when there is overage?

Better yet, how about a graduated fine structure, like, 10 cents per gallon for the first 100 gallons of overage, then $1-2 per gallon up to 500 gallons of overage, then $5 per gallon.

If we are actually in a "drought", get serious about the fines!

On the other hand, "why" are these users using so much water.
Do they have any "defensive arguments" to present?

Are they really being judged fairly by being held to the same "water use" standard of a house with one person on a half acre lot. Or a one-bedroom apartment with virtually no landscape.
Maybe they have a huge house with 8 people living there on 20 acres of which 10 acres are vineyards....and they have horses and goats. I don't know? But I also don't trust "government or water agencies" to devise truly fair laws that consider the relevant details.

Like this comment
Posted by lola
a resident of Danville
on Jan 15, 2016 at 1:37 pm

I think you all are missing the point. Exposing the self centered folks that think they are better than "us" is an insult. Perhaps after being exposed they will think twice about their abusive waste that affects us all.

3 people like this
Posted by LDM
a resident of Alamo
on Jan 15, 2016 at 3:28 pm

LDM is a registered user.

We are all "judged" by EBMUD using the same formula: a per person household allotment.It doesn't matter if you're on 1/3 or 30 acres.It doesn't matter if your home is a 1 bedroom apartment or a 15 room mansion. It doesn't matter if you work,are disabled or retired....The ONLY thing that matters to them is the # of people living in your home at one time.Of course there were more "water wasters"for that time period:it was the holidays!!! Theoretically,a 2 person household could have gone to any # for the 4 day Thanksgiving holiday,the 8 day Hanukkah holiday,the 4 day Christmas holiday.
BTW,all that information comes directly from EBMUD. Asked if they intended to personalize the formula: reply,we're working on it. That was told to us during the summer.....

12 people like this
Posted by Griff
a resident of Danville
on Jan 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm

If you want to blame somebody blame our elected officials. There hasn't been a dam built in California since 1972 and the state's population has increased more than 50%. To me that is malfeasance!

Like this comment
Posted by lola
a resident of Danville
on Jan 17, 2016 at 11:32 am

Your argument leads me to wonder what is your monthly water usage LDM...

2 people like this
Posted by C Alice
a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Dear Griff: see pic. Web Link How much water does an empty bath tub hold? Two empty bath tubs? Twice as much of nuthin'?

There are already 1400 reservoirs in California. All the good places are taken.

Like this comment
Posted by david brower
a resident of Alamo
on Jan 23, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Please, whenever a story like this is done, INCLUDE A LINK to the released data.

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

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