Camarillo City Council grapples with Water Conservation at April 8th meeting

By Logan McFadden

At the City Council meeting on April 8th, viagra dosage the implementation of Governor Brown’s recent executive order B-29-15 for a 25% reduction in water usage was discussed. The staff presentation focused on four most-asked questions.

1) How does the drought affect Camarillo’s water supply?
2) New homes – Will new customers affect the water supply?
3) Will the drought affect water rates?
4) What is the City doing to improve water quality?

Camarillo is ahead of the curve. The City started working on a ten year master plan before this drought. The historical annual water usage base line is 11, see 500 acre feet. An acre foot is 12 inches of water covering one acre. Three acre feet equals one million gallons. Water was historically sourced from recycled water (1, health 000 acre feet), groundwater (4,500 acre feet), imported state water (5,500 acre feet) and the agricultural pumping allocation (500 acre feet).

Camarillo has already complied with the voluntary 20% reduction in water usage. The additional 5% will come from an increase in recycled water and a decrease in pumped groundwater and imported state water. A new desalinization plant is expected to come online by the end of 2017. Approximately 4,500 acre feet will be supplied by the new plant, further decreasing pumped groundwater to 2,800 acre feet and imported state water to 2,800 acre feet.

Water conservation is regulated by reduced allocations from the Metropolitan Water District which supplies the Ventura County water agencies. See related article for a list of mandated conservation measures HERE. The executive order applies to all non-agricultural properties, including homes, businesses and parks. Farmers own allocations to pump water.

1) The City has a diverse water portfolio to avoid the severe consequences seen in other California communities .
2) New residential construction must be water neutral. For example, the Springville development is built on farm land. The farmers had water allocations greater than the projected water usage by the new homeowners. The unused allocation was transferred to the City to offset other projects as needed.
3) A diverse water supply provides water rate stability. Rates are currently applied to billing on a tiered basis. Water bills will show the customer’s total usage and amount saved based upon historical usage before the 20% voluntary reduction was put in place. Penalties will be assessed if usage exceeds the mandated cut.
4) The 4,500 acre feet produced by the desalinization plant each year will blend with other water sources and result in improved water quality. Desalted water costs less than imported state water.

Councilmember Charlotte Craven noted that the water company is reaching out to large water consumers to provide conservation information. Homeowners can find conservation tips and rebate programs at www.bewaterwise.com. Mayor Little asked about the water regulations applicable to City parks. The City is allowed to receive a waiver for community benefits which will partially exempt the park from meeting the 25% reduction.

The staff member concluded his presentation with a comment that the City has “a solid program” to meet the water conservation goal mandated by Governor Brown.

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Logan McFadden is a Citizensjournal.us city reporter and a recently retired banker, residing in Camarillo. He volunteers for the Heritage Action Sentinel team and serves as the AMAC Delegate to the 26th Congressional District and a Convention of States District Captain.

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