At the August 31st Special City Council Meeting, the Fort Bragg City Council unanimously passed a Resolution declaring a Water Emergency and implementing mandatory Stage 2 water conservation measures. Stage 2 water conservation measures target a 20% reduction in water use for this time of year. The emergency water declaration follows a request on August 10th by the City Council that residents and businesses voluntarily comply with Stage 1 water conservation measures.
City staff closely monitors the flows in all three of the City’s water sources: Waterfall Gulch, Newman Gulch and the Noyo River. During the winter and spring, pumping of the Noyo River is used only to supplement the Waterfall Gulch and Newman Gulch sources. The two tributary sources generally provide a higher quality of raw water and they gravity-feed to the water treatment plant, whereas water from the City’s Noyo River diversion must be pumped. As summer progresses and the flows in the tributary streams diminish, the Noyo River diversion is used more frequently and in greater quantities. During June and into early July, flows in the Noyo River remained above drought year conditions. However, mid-July and into August, the flows dropped faster than any other summer on record, surpassing the 2015 and 1977 low flows. Staff expects flows to continue to decrease through September and into October, prompting the Water Emergency declaration.
In order to meet the 20% water use reduction goal, Stage 2 water conservation measures prohibit use of a water hose without a shut-off nozzle, washing of driveways, sidewalks, or building exteriors. Irrigation is prohibited for lawn or aesthetic landscaping. Irrigation for gardens and agriculture is only allowed between 6 pm and 10 am and cannot occur within 48 hours of rainfall. Restaurants may only serve water upon request and hotels must encourage guest to forgo daily linen service. Leaks must be repaired as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days after notification by the City. Violation of the Stage 2 water conservation measures are subject to fines.
For more information visit the City’s Water Conservation webpage.