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Please Attend A Drought Informational Meeting
On July 30


meeting photoVentura Water customers are invited to attend an informational meeting on Wednesday, July 30 about the status of Ventura’s water supplies, water conservation efforts and future planning.  The public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room at Ventura City Hall, 501 Poli Street. The information will include statewide water waste response actions to be implemented soon, as required by the State Water Resources Control Board’s resolution adopted on July 15.

The unusually hot and dry summer weather continues to decrease Ventura’s local water sources. Mandatory water restrictions are expected soon to keep demand from outstripping available water supplies. To provide community input as Ventura Water develops and implements a water shortage plan, the City Council approved a 13-member Water Task Force on July 21 (Item 12). Some of the topics the Task Force will cover during their public meetings this fall will include outdoor watering schedules, incentives and potential surcharges or other drought rates.

Our water sources, including Lake Casitas, the Ventura River, and our regional groundwater aquifers, will need multiple years of significant rain to fully recover. Water conservation and efficiency are part of the solution. For more water conservation information, visit

What Do Dirty Cars
Have To Do With It?


don't wash me graphicIn early July, the City of Ventura challenged all county residents to drive a dirty car for at least one month. Inspired by California’s Save Our Water message of “a little dirt won’t hurt” your car, driving a dirty car in July has been a visible sign that Ventura is working together to save our water. The goals of this somewhat silly contest include: saving water by skipping car washes, raising awareness of water shortages, and having a little fun.

Dirty Car surprise winnerLocal Ventura County radio spots promoted the “Don’t Wash Your Car” challenge and contest details and participants were encouraged to post pictures of their dirty cars on Ventura Water’s Facebook page.  A complete car detail is to be awarded to the top three pictures earning the most “Likes” by July 31. (Thanks to Five Points Car Wash, Camarillo Auto Body, and SoCal Auto Body.) Random surprise winners have also been awarded prizes out in Ventura County parking lots for being the most filthy, grimy, grubby car spotted that day. (Hint: Drivers could increase their chances of winning by scrawling, “Don’t Wash Me” in the dirt.)

A few observations from the photos posted on Facebook: black cars do really show dirt, some people will avoid washing their car for a very long time, kitty paw tracks in dirt across a car hood make interesting patterns, and there is a whole genre called “dirty car art.” Who knew?  It's not too late to join in the fun.  Post your "dirty car" with a few words of wisdom as to how you are saving water on Ventura Water's Facebook page by July 31.  For more information about prizes and winners, visit

*Mark Your Calendar*
Fall Water Wise
Classes Announced


Water Wise graphicSign-ups will begin in August for the next series of the free, Saturday morning Water Wise classes. Help Ventura become the most water-efficient community in California by learning more about these drought-busting topics:
  • September 20, 2014 ~ Rainwater Harvesting & Laundry-to-Landscape Graywater ~ City Sanjon Maintenance Yard
    Install a rain barrel, redirect your downspout into your new rain garden, install a laundry-to-landscape system and maintain them all properly.
  • October 18, 2014 ~ Composting and Urban Soils ~ Cornucopia Gardens (Telephone Road & Ramelli Avenue) 
    Create healthy backyard mulch, compost and worm castings from your food and yard waste to conserve water, reduce pesticides and revive urban soil.
  • November 15, 2014 ~ Turf Replacement with Water Wise Plants ~ City Sanjon Maintenance Yard
    Remove turf naturally, replace it with native or climate-appropriate plants, convert pop-up spray irrigation to drip irrigation, and re-wild your garden habitats to bring back birds, bees and butterflies. 
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Dear Valued Customer,

Last Monday night, the City Council approved a 13-member Water Task Force to represent the community as Ventura Water develops and implements a range of actions to respond to the growing drought. The dry and hot weather is not helping our water situation, and as many of you are aware, the state recently mandated new requirements targeting water waste.

The City of Ventura has a Water Waste Ordinance on the books that was adopted during the 1990s drought. The state regulations and our ordinance include the same prohibitions:
  • Watering of outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff to adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots or structures. (Don’t let your sprinklers run so long that the water runs off the grass onto the pavement and don’t let your sprinklers water the pavement.)
  • Using a hose to wash an automobile, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle. (By the way, a professional car wash is a better choice, environmentally speaking. A commercial car wash uses only 45 gallons per car and typically recycles the water. Washing at home can use three times the amount of water and the dirt and grime washed off your car can pollute our ocean and beaches.)
  • The application of water to any hard surface, including, but not limited to, driveways, sidewalks and asphalt. (Use a broom, not the hose to clean hard surfaces. There are some exceptions for health and safety, such as street sweeping.)
  • Using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated.
Ventura’s ordinance has a few more prohibitions that you should be aware of:
  • Any leaks should be repaired within 48 hours after being discovered.
  • Restaurants should serve water only if requested by the customer. (It takes three glasses of water to provide one glass of drinking water: one to make the ice, one to fill the glass and one to wash the glass.)
All urban water suppliers across California, like Ventura Water, will be enforcing these standards to prevent water from being knowingly wasted. Ventura’s ordinance does not have a $500 fine as a penalty but we will be rolling out a program to educate and enforce water waste prohibitions, along with other efforts to motivate our customers to save water. 

These are likely to include incentive programs, drought rates and/or surcharges, as well as community outdoor watering schedules, which will be the purview of the Water Task Force, whose first public meeting will hopefully be in August.

Meanwhile, we encourage you to attend our Drought Informational Meeting on Wednesday, July 30 at 6 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room at City Hall. We thought that a meeting would be the best way to update customers about what’s happening, help explain what all of this looks like down the road, and to answer questions.  
Thank you for continuing to do your part to save water during these dry times. For more information, visit us at


Shana Epstein,
ura Water General Manager



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