2015 Drought Emergency Regulations Program


OBJECTIVE:  Meet the requirements of the Governor’s April 1, 2015 Executive Order by achieving 20% reduction in potable water production, supporting the State’s efforts to prevent waste and unreasonable use of water, and to further promote conservation.

STRATEGY:  Accomplish the objective by multi-pronged approach of voluntary efforts by customers, mandatory requirements and restrictions. The goal is to promote water efficient behaviors, educate customers about their personal/household water use and potential savings measures, increase awareness about outdoor water use efficiencies, and continuously eliminate water waste.

BACKGROUND:  The District has been persistently and continuously promoting water conservation for years. In response to the 2014 State Drought Emergency, the District reduced its system-wide potable demand by 21% in July-December 2014 in comparison to the same period in 2013 and achieved 17% reduction for February 2014-January 2015 time period. The 2015 State Drought Emergency Regulations establish mandates for all urban water suppliers – Scotts Valley Water District is required to reduce its total potable water production by 16% for each month as compared to the amount used in the same month in 2013.        


1) Weekly Irrigation Policy
The Policy on Outdoor Irrigation Limitations was adopted by the Board on April 9, 2015. All potable water customers are required to comply with the established irrigation schedule of even-ending street numbers watering on Saturdays and Tuesdays and odd-ending street numbers watering on Sundays and Wednesdays. The following elements will be used to implement and enforce the policy:

- Patrolling: combination of field staff and dedicated temporary employee
- Mailbox/Yard signs: to be used as an educational tool as well as a neighborhood social enforcement
- Up to $500 per day fines for each violation: as a last resort for non-compliance

2) Target Scorecard
Establish a district-wide goal of 75 gallons per customer day (gpcd). Create a mechanism by which the customers can assess their household use half way through a billing period and make corrections in their consumption if necessary:
- Conduct monthly meter readings
- Mail customers “half time” scorecards providing them with their actual usage in comparison with the target.

3) Updated Rebate Program
Update the rebate program by dedicating majority of the funding allocations and staff resources to the outdoor water efficiencies. Consider innovative approaches for continuing the indoor rebates (limited staff time) such as third party toilet replacement.

4) Water Waste Watch
Regulations to Promote Water Conservation and Minimize Water Waste were adopted by the Board on April 12, 2012. On May 14, 2015 the Board rescinded this this regulation and established a Policy on Water Waste that incorporated the  new end-user requirements as established by the State
- The application of potable water to outdoor landscapes during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall
- The irrigation with potable water of ornamental turf on public street medians
- The irrigation with potable water of landscapes outside of newly constructed homes and buildings in a manner inconsistent with building standards.
Patrolling and fines up to $500 per day per violation will be used to enforce the regulations.

EFFECTIVE:   June 2015 – February 2016