RCSD Water Conservation Ordinance Reviewed
The Redway Community Services District (RCSD) held an official First Reading of the Water Conservation Ordinance at a Special Meeting Thursday, May 17th. The Ordinance is based on language in their standing Water Emergency Contingency Plan. The District’s attorney advised they adopt this plan into an ordinance.
The Ordinance sets RCSD’s perimeters for Summer Conservation, Mandatory Conservation, Water Shortage Emergency and Dire Water Shortage.
The Board spent a good deal of time looking at flow data for their USGS station at the Miranda Bridge.
The Summer Conservation will be implemented when the flow falls below 25cfs (cubic feet per second); or when the flow is expected to remain below 25% of median flow until fall rains begin; or when the District’s pumps need to run more than 18 hours a day to meet demand.
The goal of Summertime Conservation is to reduce the demand for water by 25%.
Mandatory Water Conservation begins when flow falls below 20cfs; or when the pumps need to run more than 18 hours a day to meet demand for more than three consecutive days; or when the river is expected to remain below 50% of average flow for the rest of the season.
The goal of Mandatory Water Conservation is to reduce the demand for water by 25%.
A Water Shortage Emergency will be called if the river falls below 10cfs or if the water supply is insufficient to fill the main tank overnight.
If a Water Shortage Emergency is declared, all accounts are restricted to a maximum use of 400 gallons a day. Residential Customers are expected to use no more than 60 gallons of water per day per person in the household.
A Dire Water Shortage will be declared if there is a major natural disaster or a catastrophic system failure. During a Dire Water Shortage, users are expected to curtail use to “absolute minimum for human survival and safety.”
The District had divorced the potential 25% surcharge on water sales from the water conservation ordinance. However, Board Member Michael McKaskle felt strongly placeholder language should be included in the Ordinance so the surcharge is easier to implement once RCSD has complied with the procedures of Proposition 218.
The Board declined to make that addition, and McKaskle said then that he would suggest it again at the Second Reading and Hearing on May 24th.
The purpose of the surcharge, if it is implemented, would be to recoup revenue lost when people aren’t using as much water. It is proposed to be applied to the actual water sales and not to the base rate.
For this week’s upcoming Board meeting, on the 24th, Rogers has included figures in the packet for the Board to review. Without subtraction for reduced pumping and treatment costs, the figures prepared by Rogers indicate that if the District had to implement a 25% conservation measure for two months in a row, the District could see up to a $12,000 reduction in revenue for the year. This represents about 3% of the District’s annual budget of $388,000.
The Board emphasized that the surcharge, if implemented, will apply to all customers. One of the three members of the public present at the meeting noted that the surcharge means people pay about the same bill when the surcharge is implemented if they are able to conserve their water as directed.
The Hearing on this Ordinance will be at the regular Board Meeting of the RCSD this Wednesday, the 23th of May at 6:30 pm in the District Office next to Greenwired in the Meadows Business Park.