Amador County water officials ask customers to cut usage by 20%

Local News

AMADOR COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — At first glance at the north fork of the Mokelumne River, the water supply looks healthy for Amador County, but some waterways like Sutter Creek sit dry.

“We tell everybody to make every drop count. That always applies, but even more so right now,” explained Larry McKenney, a general manager with the Amador Water Agency.

He told FOX40 that the agency is asking its customers to cut water usage by 20% since the utility can’t divert water from the river anymore.

“It’s not too severe actually. We’re asking people to try to do things that will help the agency,” McKenney said.

The agency is asking customers to help by watering during the night-time hours and only three days per week and no emptying or refilling swimming pools and hot tubs, and no washing sidewalks.

The agency is also asking restaurants to serve water to customers only if requested.

Winery owners say they are not worried about the water usage reduction because many of them have wells they can tap into, but their level of concern will rise if drought conditions continue into next year, which may affect prices.

McKenney said they declared a stage 1 alert because of the state’s water reduction orders. During the last drought, the agency went up as high as stage 2.

“Our stage 2 aims at a 30% reduction and the state had asked for 28%,” McKenney recalled. “So, we asked our customers to do that and our actual reduction exceeded 40%.”

He hopes people have that same impact this time around.

“We are hopeful this is all we need to do,” he said.

McKenney said they hope this is the only stage needed, but if the state increases reduction levels, then it could go higher.

Below is a full list of the AWA’s stage 1 water alert mandatory conservation measures:

1. All customers will observe practices to achieve up to a 20% reduction in their monthly water use over 2013 usage.

2. Discontinue watering lawns and gardens or any other irrigation between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

3. Require restaurants to only serve water to customers upon request.

4. All run-off and street flooding from outdoor irrigation is prohibited.

5. No unattended watering except where automatic shut-off equipment is used.

6. Automatic shut-off nozzles or valves are required when washing cars and other vehicles.

7. Washing sidewalks, driveways, patios, parking lots, and tennis courts with water is prohibited.

8. Emptying and refilling of swimming pools and hot tubs is prohibited.

9. Maintaining pools, hot tubs and fire protection storage facilities at normal operating levels is permitted.

10. Drinking water used in decorative fountains must be recirculated.

11. Drinking water may not be used in scenic ponds and lakes except for the minimum amount needed to support existing aquatic life.

12. Use of Conservation kits supplied by AWA or other water utilities

13. No irrigation with potable water outside of newly constructed homes and buildings unless by means of drip or microspray systems.

14. No irrigation during and up to 48 hours after measurable rainfall.

15. Fix leaks or faulty sprinklers within 7 day(s).

16. Water only three days per week for turf watering when using potable water.

17. Plant containers, trees, shrubs, and vegetable gardens may be watered additional days using only drip irrigation or hand watering, provided that any such drip irrigation system or hose is equipped with a working and activated automatic shut-off device.

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