Elverta Water District Discusses Cutbacks

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ELVERTA --

Frustration spilling out, well, like water running out of a faucet at yet another meeting about how conservation in the Sacramento Valley -- this one specifically about how to dry up 36 percent of what's currently being used in Rio Linda.

"What you guys are facing right now, you're gonna be charging more for delivering less. That's what's gonna happen. We can conserve all we want. I'll start drinking more beer, but you're not gonna get away from raising rates," complained Bob Perryman.

"One of the things that equestrian businesses need is water to water arenas," pointed out Charlea Moore.

That concern for part of the equine industry is just one of many raised as managers of the Elverta Water District talked to customers about how to meet one of the most stringent  conservation requirements in the state.

Each district forced now to do its part to meet the Governor's drought-induced  mandate of a 25 percent cut in water use statewide.

Still, green fields managed by Rio Linda's parks department didn't escape the critical eye of homeowners being asked to make do with less.

"My conservation coordinator is meeting specifically with our top 50 water users at the time and getting professional landscape and lawn care people to meet with them," said Mary Henrici, the general manager of the Elverta Water District.

The district Henrici manages is also planning other agrerssive steps to get a better picture of what is being used by each customer.

Board members will consider buying a $400,000 dollar AMI software system  that will allow each household to log on and see their water usage hourly.

"It will give people more power to realize how much water they are using when they're watering the lawn or during the week," she said.

Still, as  four years' worth of drought dries up patience along with reservoirs, water customers can only hope for more far-reaching solutions out of Sacramento.

"There is not a significant wave  or effort to produce greater storage or greater conveyance.  There is a lack of political leadership," said one man in the crowd.