Conservation Requirements by Local Water Agencies

2010 in Review: Shortages Despite Return to Average Rainfall  

Despite above average precipitation in 2010, many public water agencies faced water shortages due to multiple dry years, environmental restrictions limiting water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and growing pressure on the state’s water storage and delivery system.

State and federal water project deliveries were curtailed in 2010. The final allocation for State Water Project contractors was just 50% of requested supplies in 2010, up from the 5% initially projected after three dry years. The 5% initial allocation was the lowest since the SWP began delivering water in 1967.

Central Valley Project agricultural contractors south of the Delta received a 40% supply. 

Below is a snapshot of the conservation requests – and in some cases, requirements – the major public water agencies in California had in place for their customers in 2010. Learn more about water shortages and conservation.

San Diego County

San Diego County Water Authority

Mandatory allocations to its 24 member retail agencies remain through June 2011. Remaining in a Level 2 “Drought Alert” condition for a second straight year, which enables member agencies to keep water use restrictions and other mandatory conservation measures in place.

Contact: Jason Foster, director of public affairs

Valley Center Municipal Water District

Voluntary 8% conservation for municipal and industrial customers. Mandatory 13%-25% reduction for agricultural customers. Mandatory 8% reduction in allocations for wholesalers.

Contact: Gary Arant, general manager

Los Angeles / Southern California

Eastern Municipal Water District

10% mandatory conservation in effect. Implemented a water budget-based tiered rate structure to encourage conservation.

Contact: Melanie Nieman, public information officer

Long Beach Water Department

Mandatory conservation in effect. Per capita water use is down roughly 20% from our historical average.

Contact: Matthew Veeh, director of government and public affairs

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Mandatory conservation requirements and shortage year water rates in place since June 2009. Under shortage year rates, first tier allotments are reduced by 15%. Outdoor water use is allowed three days per week, eight minutes per day.

Contact: Joseph Ramallo, public affairs representative

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Mandatory allocation plan in place for its 26 member public agency retailers for second consecutive year.

Contact: Bob Muir, public information officer

Municipal Water District of Orange County

Allocation plan for retail agencies in place for second consecutive year.

Contact: Darcy Burke, director of public affairs

San Francisco Bay Area

Contra Costa Water District

Removed mandatory conservation, encouraging efficient and reasonable water use.

Contact: Jennifer Allen, public affairs manager

East Bay Municipal Utilities Agency

Removed 10% voluntary conservation requirement in April 2010 due to improved water supply conditions. Continuing to urge wise water usage.

Contact: Charles Hardy, public information officer

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

No mandatory conservation or allocation plan in place in 2010. Water consumption in SFPUC service area is 9% less than the previous five year average, year-to-date.

Contact: Chandra Johnson, water conservation specialist

Santa Clara Valley Water Agency

Called for 10% mandatory conservation until late September 2010, when voluntary 10% conservation was requested.

Contact: Marty Grimes, communications and public affairs manager

Sonoma County Water Agency

No allocation or rationing plan in 2010, but urging year-round conservation.

Contact: Brad Sherwood, public information officer

Sacramento Region

Regional Water Authority

Launched “Blue Thumb” campaign in April focusing on outdoor water conservation for homeowners including paid advertising, Web site.

Contact: Linda Higgins, regional water efficiency coordinator

San Juan Water District

Stage 1 “Normal Water Supply” phase. Voluntary conservation requested.

Contact: Shauna Lorance, general manager