Wednesday, June 3, 2015

• Water Worries

Unless you're new to the area, you know we've all been flooded (pun intended) with dire warnings about the drought and the cutbacks that we are all being expected to abide by. This morning EVMWD spokesman Greg Morrison gave a presentation at the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast at Denny's.


Water Use Prohibitions:
• Washing down sidewalks or driveways
• Watering during or within 48 hours after a rain event.
• Overwatering, causing water to run off of a landscaped area
• Washing your vehicle on your property.
• Filling, refilling or adding water to your uncovered pool or spa.
• Using a fountain or water feature unless the water is recirculated.
• Watering on windy days.
• Providing water at restaurants or food establishments unless requested.
• No Pressure Washer use.

Guidelines for outdoor water use and irrigation:
• Use sprinkler irrigation systems between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and before 6:00 A.M.
• Limit sprinkler operation to no more than two times per week on odd/even 
calendar days based on last digit of service address.
• Watering by hand, with drip irrigation or reclaimed water is ok during daylight hours.
• Sprinklers and irrigation systems should be adjusted to avoid overspray, runoff and waste.
• Fix leaks or broken irrigation equipment to reduce waste.
• Having a cover on your pool to reduce evaporation.

We're in a Stage 4 drought and if you've been ignoring the calls to cut back overuse of water, you may be in for a shocker in the near future. We've heard about Sacramento's approval of $500 fines for transgressors, but nothing ever seemed to come from it. Until now that is, as enough time has gone by  —coupled with another very dry rainy season— that such warnings are starting to sprout some teeth.






I wonder who'll be the first schmuck in the area to actually end up with a flow restrictor? 

Here are a few of the points that stuck with me.

• Our area's mandate is to reduce water usage by 25% from 2013 levels. The thing is, we already made 20% cutbacks over the last 5-7 years... so the effective rate is closer to a 45% reduction that we're expected to undertake compared to the halcyon days of the early aughts.

Don't we love unreasonable and unrealistic dictates from Sacramento? My favorite one of theirs is "reducing GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 - a reduction of approximately 30%"... but don't order yet... if that isn't enough to get your eyes rolling check out their new La-La Land idea: "reducing GHG emissions 80% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050."

If the Sac-to dreamers can pull that one off, that'll be right up there with feeding 5,000 men with 7 loaves, and a few fish, and still ending up with 12 baskets of leftovers.


• There is an app called iEfficient that can be used to report water wasters. It's a GPS based program that allows a person to snap a pic of violations. The picture is sent directly to customer service and the ball is now rolling directly toward you. Morrison made it clear they are NOT encouraging Neighbor on Neighbor spying, though he mentioned how that has already started in some areas.


• No new turf in front yards for new developments.
• No filling pools that do not have covers.
• No car washing at home, even with a nozzle.
• You're soon to be "slammed" with mailings from EVMWD. We know that you'll read them, but question is, will your neighbors bother reading them?

I had a question for Greg Morrison.

Speaking of needing to reduce water usage by 25% from 2013 levels, Wildomar Parks were closed during that time and so there was no effective water usage. How does that work?
  • That's a good question... it's a tough question... it's sort of a sad question, because it doesn't matter. I'm being absolutely sincere, I know how the council members here feel about this (pointing to Mayor Ben Benoit and Mayor  Pro-Tem Bridgette Moore who were in attendance). We're doing everything we can to work with the city... it'll be tough.



So you can't go back to the last year that the park was opened as the baseline?
  • No, because it's not that specific (the mandate). The regulation is on us (EVMWD) as a blanket. They (Sacramento) don't care about the details.



This is a good opportunity [for our area]. If we get the snows, we get the rains... the penalties, and these drought restrictions, will change. If you have questions about conservation, about what you could do —call. We are here to help people.   Phone: (951) 674-3146

 Andy Morris, EVMWD Board of Directors, Division 5

In short, it's time to start taking our water shortage/drought seriously if you haven't already been doing so. With tiered rates, if you choose to not comply, it's only going to cost you a grip of cash as your water bill rolls in. 

There were many other good points made. If you'd like to see the video of the presentation check it out (it's an hour long). Remember, I shot the video only to use for notes. So the quality is so-so and the there are background noises you'd expect to hear at a restaurant. 


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8 comments:

  1. I will be having my house painted in the next month. Before painting they have to pressure wash the house down. How will this affect me? I have to have this done before painting.

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    1. That's a good question. Like Andy Morris had said, give them a call to find out what to do in such a situation. I should have included the number originally... I've included in the blog now, and will put it here too.

      EVMWD Phone: (951) 674-3146

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  2. The bit about loving "unreasonable and unrealistic mandates" inspires me to comment. You might argue that the state's water project and the fed's Bureau of Reclamation and Core of Engineers have made available unrealistic quantities of cheap water with which we've become unreasonably addicted to soaked lawns and moistened blacktop. Making water plentiful may have bred generations of takers who don't want to be accountable for their environmental impact.

    These water restrictions are minor. I've been under their caps for over ten years, because every bit of water saved keeps some water in it's native stream or prevents the loss of non-renewable ground water (in theory, in reality, someone else is likely to use more).

    If people cannot follow these restrictions, then you're right about the CO2 emissions reductions being unrealistic. The water restrictions are a warm-up to what is needed to slow global warming to a manageable rate. The proposed CO2 emissions reductions, like the water restrictions, are a necessary reality. It's disappointing when reality doesn't conform to our standard of living.

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    1. I'm not sure about "generation of takers" when it comes to water (though I bet I could get a super majority of hands agreeing with that for nearly every other thing people seem to have their hand out for.)

      For those of us who grew up here in the '70s and earlier, we were taught by example that water wasn't something to be concerned about. Even in dry years, the hose or tap never slowed. I agree about the lawns... again... we inherited them and the attitude that they were the only option in neighborhoods. We were obviously done a disservice.

      As for the CO2 reductions, my ignorance is manifest when I say I don't get it. I don't get how we are supposed to reduce emissions by 80% with a population that is projected to be doubled from the 1990 level (from 30M in 1990 to 60M in 2050). If it's people that are the root of the problem, I'm thinking it would be impossible to make any reductions with a doubling of the population... much less an 80% reduction.

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    2. "takers" is my cryptic reference to my hypothesis that many people accusing the political left of taking and enabling through a nanny state will demand that the state do something about the water crisis when we lose a few more lawns. This is a testable hypothesis.

      Regarding emissions reduction, I'm seeing projections of ~49 million by 2050, which is still big, but I think the CO2 targets could be met. It is pretty much another way of saying surface transportation and electricity generation will have to become carbon neutral. Big, very big change, but plausible if people truly moved in that direction. I could be wrong, and will do some research on this.

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  3. One has to laugh heartily when EVMWD claims to have plenty of water while at the same time show they import 80% (the 10 percent from Canyon Lake is actually Colorado River Water) from somewhere else. A couple of other questions begs to be asked, why does EVMWD keep referring to a 25% reduction requirement when the State Water Board shows them needing to reduce consumption by 28%. Where is the reclaimed water for which millions of taxpayer dollars was spent on infrastructure for several years ago.
    A question for John, the lights you showed on your website are located in Lake Elsinore, are they in the Palomar Lighting Zone and are those lights properly shielded.
    Kenny Mayes

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    1. Hi Ken,
      Yes. The lights being are in the 45-mile radius of Palomar which puts them in Zone B defined by County Ordinance 655, but since they are also in the City of Lake Elsinore, they fall under Lake Elsinore's lighting code. These lights have no shielding, so I believe they're in violation of Lake Elsinore's lighting code.

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    2. Kenny
      About the 25% v 28%. I noticed that too. Without knowing empirically, I'm guessing it was just a misspeak using previous numbers. I think I heard both numbers during the presentation.

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