Drought Emergency - Updated July 13, 2015
April 1, 2015. Governor called for a mandatory 25% reduction in water use (based on 2013 consumption rates). Water agencies are leading the effort.
May 11, 2015. The California Water Service Company (Cal Water) outlined its water shortage contingency plan to the City Council (Schedule 14.1). The Council then repealed Ordinance 1479.
May 15, 2015. Community members who witness water waste or have questions about the drought can call the City's Hotline at (650) 802-4420 or contact Cal Water at (650) 558-7800.
June 1, 2015. The contingency plan (Schedule 14.1) went into effect and we are currently in Stage 2. (Note: These stages are cumulative, so all restrictions in each lower stage apply.) Water customers will be notified directly by Cal Water regarding changes in restrictions.
Potential Water Reduction Measures
Water Saving Measures:
1. Follow outdoor watering guidelines and restrictions (water customers in San Carlos are currently allowed to water two times a week). Water during your scheduled days before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
2. Adjust your sprinkler heads so they are directed only on your lawn and garden and avoid wetting sidewalks and patios.
3. Use mulch or ground cover.
4. Choose drought tolerant and/or native plants whenever possible; go to http://www.cnps.org/ for more information on native plants. San Carlos is in Climate Zones 9 and 10. Select Mediterranean climate and California native plants that are adapted to our climate of seasonal rainfall. Consider plants that offer food for wildlife and enhance local habitat. Also, avoid invasive species to prevent the further spread of exotic plants. Sunset Magazine also has a number of articles on drought-tolerant landscaping at http://www.sunset.com/garden/garden-basics/drought.
5. Consider replacing your lawn. Cal Water has a Turf Replacement Rebate Program available at https://calwater-turf.droplet.us/. The Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) Lawn Be Gone! Program provides rebates to approved customers that convert water-thirsty lawns to water-efficient landscapes. Go to http://bawsca.org/conservation/lawn-be-gone/ to learn more. Currently, Cal Water customers in San Carlos are eligible for these rebates as long as they are offered.
6. Rather than washing your car at home, consider taking it to a car wash that recycles the water.
Develop water-wise habits:
1. Run only full loads in the dishwasher and use shorter wash cycles. Your machine uses the same amount of water whether it is full or almost empty.
2. Wash only full loads in the washing machine, use cold-water settings and shorter cycles. One load of laundry typically uses 40-50 gallons of water.
3. Fix leaky toilets. A running toilet can waste many gallons per minute; often a faulty flapper is the culprit. See Cal Water rebates for water efficient toilets.
4. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Up to 2 gallons of water are used, if the tap is left on!
5. Shorten your showers by two minutes.
Free water conservation kits are available for San Carlos residents from Cal Water. To receive your kit, fill out the form on Cal Water’s website at Cal Water Conservation Kit.
Cal Water's Conservation Department
Rebates for San Carlos residents:
Cal Water offers rebates on qualified water-efficient appliances through partnerships with the Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) and PG&E.
Important information from Cal Water:
Rebates are available until funds are depleted.
Please contact Cal Water/BAWSCA and the water conservation specialist at (408) 367-8369, if you have any questions about the programs described above.
Water Conservation Facts and Tips
Help save earth's precious resources while saving money on your water bill at the same time.
A variety of Web sites and literature that will help you investigate water conservation.
The Fire Department is doing all it can to conserve water in this time of drought. Click here to see what measures our firefighters are taking to help out. For more information about the Fire Department click here.
The City of San Carlos participated in the National Mayor's Water Conservation Challenge during the months of April 2014 and April 2015, and many San Carlans pledged to reduce water use. If you've taken the pledge, thank you.