The City of Davis announced today that with dry weather continuing into the fall and with Governor Newsom’s request for a voluntary 15% reduction in water use statewide, the City is asking the Davis community to voluntarily reduce water usage.
If the voluntary, statewide reduction in water use is not met, the state may look to require mandatory water-use reductions in future months. The ongoing dry weather and drought conditions in California have contributed to the City relying on groundwater supplies more heavily, as surface water from the Sacramento River is more limited in the summer months and extended dry periods due to Term 91, which restricts Sacramento River diversions under the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency’s (WDCWA’s) primary water right. The secondary surface water right that the City has access to through WDCWA provides surface water between April to October is not affected by State curtailment orders. If Term 91 is still in place in November 2021, the City may need to rely solely on groundwater wells (primarily deep aquifer wells that have similar water quality as compared to surface water) until the restrictions are lifted. Water conservation can help to reduce water demands citywide and ensure that resources are being used as efficiently as possible.
“During the previous drought, our community enacted several water conservation efforts that aided us in meeting State water-use reduction goals,” said Councilmember Will Arnold, who is also a member of the Woodland Davis Clean Water Agency (WDCWA) board. “We are committed to ongoing conservation, and I’m confident our community will step up to continue these efforts and make additional cut-backs in outdoor water use where possible.”
With approximately 60% or more of water use being used outdoors, short and near-term reductions in water use can primarily be achieved by reducing irrigation. To reduce water-use outdoors, consider taking the steps below:
• Cut back on watering. Eliminate one watering day each week, or cut back each cycle timing by 10 to 20 percent.
• Keep your irrigation efficient and fix leaks. A hole as small as the tip of a pen in an irrigation line can waste as much as 6,300 gallons of water per month. Check your irrigation system (spray or drip) for leaks.
• Water late at night or early in the morning. This can save 25 gallons each time you water.
• Place mulch around trees and plants. Mulch helps to reduce moisture evaporation from your soil and can save 20 to 30 gallons each time you water.
• Prioritize your plantings. Prioritize trees watering over turf to ensure that trees are receiving adequate water over the summer.
• Use AquaHawk to manage your water usage. Careful water-use management is the best tool to use to catch and repair irrigation issues and leaks more quickly. If you aren’t already registered, learn more at www.SaveDavisWater.org
For longer-term ways to reduce water use, the City encourages the community to consider utilizing greywater to supplement your irrigation, harvesting rainwater in the winter months, modernizing your appliances, switching to drip irrigation, or converting unused turf to low water-use plants.
Along with asking water customers to voluntarily reduce water usage, there are a number of mandatory water-use restrictions that have remained in place since the most recent drought emergency declared by the State from 2014-2017. Some of these restrictions include:
• No watering outdoors between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
• No watering during periods of rain or for 48 hours after measurable rainfall
• No excessive water flow or runoff onto pavement, gutters or ditches
• No washing down paved surfaces unless for safety or sanitation
The full list of restrictions on water use can be found on the City’s webpage at www.SaveDavisWater.org (just click on “Drought Information and Water Use Restrictions” on the right side of the page).
Visit www.SaveDavisWater.org for more water conservation tips, drought information and the list of mandatory water use restrictions. Visit www.Water.CityofDavis.org for more information on City water sources and drought conditions. The Public Works Utilities and Operations Department can be reached at PWWeb@CityofDavis.org or 530-757-5686.