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 Attend an Important Ventura Water Town Hall Meeting on Weds. April 29

Town Hall meeting graphicChanges may be coming for our customers on many water-related fronts in light of the Ventura City Council’s support for adjusting water-use tiers and rates, as well as offering a new water-saving incentive program and revising the city’s Water Shortage Event Contingency Plan – all to cope with the drought.
A Town Hall informational meeting for the public will be held at the city’s Sanjon Maintenance Yard, 336 Sanjon Road, on Wednesday, April 29 at 6 p.m. A City Council public hearing will follow on June 8.
 
Please attend the Town Hall meeting to learn more and have your questions answered! Also please read the Pipeline e-newsletter each month to keep up-to-date on the drought and Ventura Water’s response. You will find all your Ventura Water news here in the monthly Pipeline e-newsletter.
 
Before any changes are implemented, Ventura Water will bring a proposed new rate plan ordinance back to the City Council in June. Customers would be notified of the new rates in July and the new rates would become effective September 1, 2015.
 
The City Council last month acted on the recommendations of the Water Shortage Task Force, which recommended the changes after a series of public meetings to manage the ongoing drought.
 
The Council is considering implementing a new, four-tiered water rate structure that would send a strong message for conservation of Ventura’s local resources. Under the plan, the highest residential users would pay more for their water - but not as much if they reduce use by 20 percent. The lowest users would have minimal impact. Commercial customers are expected to conserve by 10 percent during the current Stage 3 Water Shortage.
 
The City Council is also considering a new incentive program for customers who reduce outside water use. This program could be underway by summer or fall 2015. Since most water use is outdoors, the incentive plan focuses on irrigation efficiency devices and a turf removal and replacement incentive when property owners install a low-water alternative to grass. Tentatively, a rebate of $2 per square foot or up to $800 would be offered for properties less than one acre; the possible rebate is up to $1,600 for properties over an acre. Rebates of $300 would be offered for other measures like buying mulch and installing efficiency devices.
 
Finally, a proposed new Water Shortage Event Contingency Plan defines the six levels of a water shortage event. Ventura is currently in Stage 3, requiring a 20 percent water use reduction for residential properties. If dry conditions worsen, the city could advance to Stage 4, which would trigger a mandatory 30 percent water-use reduction. 

Attend a Public Meeting TONIGHT on the Formation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency


The public is welcome to attend a public outreach meeting tonight to discuss the formation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency and to discuss ideas, comments or concerns about the formation of this agency for the Upper Ventura River Sub-basin. The creation of this agency would be to comply with a new state law enacted late last year. 
 
The meeting is tonight at 7 p.m. at the Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road in Oak View.    
 
The Upper Ventura River Groundwater Sub-basin underlays the Ventura River between Casitas Springs and Matilija Canyon. It is a crucial water source for 30,000 residents in Oak View, Mira Monte, Meiners Oaks, Casitas Springs and a portion of Ventura. It also provides water for native plants and animals.
 
Local agencies currently partnering to form a Groundwater Sustainability Agency include the Meiners Oaks Water District, Ventura River Water District, Casitas Municipal Water District, City of Ventura and the Ventura County Watershed Protection District. 
 
Stay tuned for the next local GSA stakeholder outreach meeting involving the Mound groundwater basin scheduled for Monday June 1, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Community Meeting Room, 501 Poli Street, second floor.  

Ventura Water Conservation Efforts Improved Very Little in March 2015; Please Keep Conserving! Here are Some Tips
 

The conservation efforts of Ventura Water customers fell significantly in March compared to February, when our conservation efforts were collectively much better. New figures show that water use was down only 7.16 percent in March 2015 compared to March 2013. In February 2015, water use by Ventura Water customers was down 13.44 percent compared to February 2013. (see chart and graph below)
 
(A good measure of how our customers are doing is comparing this year’s water use levels to date to those in 2013, before conservation measures were requested and later, required. The Ventura City Council first called for voluntary conservation in February 2014.)
 
Ventura is in a Stage 3 Water Emergency requiring customers to reduce water use by 20 percent. We all need to work toward reducing water use more and making conservation a lifestyle.
 
Ventura Water has instituted several mandatory water conservation measures for our customers. They include: sprinkler irrigation systems may run only two days per week between the hours of 6 p.m. to 9 a.m.; handheld hoses used to wash cars must have a shutoff nozzle; fountains must use recycled water; and hosing down hard surfaces like driveways or sidewalks is not allowed. (Using a broom to sweep is a reasonable alternative.)
 
What else can you do to cut water use?
 
Outside the house:
  • Minimize outside irrigation. Turn down or turn off the sprinklers.
  • Spring is the perfect time to replace your old, tired lawn with a beautiful, new water-wise garden, allowing your drought-tolerant plants time to become acclimated before warmer weather arrives. Need ideas and inspiration? Visit http://venturacountygardening.com
Inside the house:
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and low-water-use toilets.
  • Turn off that faucet! A normal faucet runs at the rate of 3-5 gallons a minute. Turn off the water while shaving, brushing your teeth and washing your face.
  • Fix water leaks and leaky pipes.
  • When using the washing machine and dishwasher, run only full loads.
  • Dump the trash. Never use the toilet as a wastebasket.
  • If you have an old washing machine, replace it with one that has a load-size selector and variable water-level controls. 


Ventura is #1! 

Join the 4th National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation- Sign up through April 30

Ventura is #1! Way to go Ventura!
 
Make your pledge NOW and win prizes while there is still time to take the pledge to save water.
 
With at least 36 states facing water shortages this year, mayors nationwide are asking residents of their cities to commit to conserving water and cutting pollution by participating in a national contest aimed at slashing water and energy use nationwide. In return, residents are entered to win prizes. You can win a new Toyota Prius, water-saving fixtures, and hundreds of other eco-friendly prizes.
 
It’s easy to make the pledge. Do it now! The Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation runs until April 30.
 
Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann is asking all residents to enter. See her video and find instructions here.

To participate, residents simply enter the name of their city at www.mywaterpledge.com and then make a series of online pledges to conserve water on behalf of their city. Cities compete in various population categories and Ventura is currently leading in its category!
 
We would like to hold our lead until the end of the challenge, so please help Ventura stay strong. Help spread the word by sharing news of the challenge with your friends, neighbors, Scout groups, and sports teams.
 
Last year, residents from over 3,600 cities in all 50 states pledged to reduce their annual consumption of fresh water by 1.4 billion gallons, reduce waste sent to landfills by 36 million pounds, prevent more than 179,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering our watersheds, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.3 billion pounds. 
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Dear Valued Customer,

On April 1, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order for urban water suppliers to reduce water production by 25 percent. This mandatory call for conservation is in response to another record dry year throughout the state. Ventura Water customers are not the only ones being asked to conserve. Everyone in the state will have to do his or her part. We are all in this together!

What does all this mean for the City of Ventura? The governor’s executive order supports all the hard work our Water Supply Shortage Task Force completed this past fall and winter. This week, every customer will receive a notice about the Water Shortage Stages and the Water Shortage Rates that are applicable for each stage. Since September, the City has already implemented the limitation on irrigation.

Now comes the next step to encourage conservation with the pocketbook as well as reward those who have already cut back their water usage. In addition, the City Parks have already turned off the irrigation to all municipal controlled medians with ornamental turf. 

The details of how the executive order will be implemented are in the hands of the State Water Resources Board, which over the weekend released a revised regulation to be presented at the May meeting for approval. The State Water Resources Board will be developing regulations in stages and is first addressing how much each community will be required to conserve and which water-wasting behaviors are prohibited. Future actions will include addressing the revisions of the model landscape ordinance and how infrastructure projects will be streamlined to supplement water supply. 

Ventura is currently in a Stage 3 Emergency to achieve an overall 20 percent reduction in water use.  Thank you for doing your part to reach this necessary goal.

Sincerely,





Shana Epstein,
Vent
ura Water General Manager
 
Register Now for the Last Two FREE Water Wise Gardening Classes this Spring

Sign-up now for the final two FREE Saturday morning Water Wise classes through June. All classes are held on Saturdays from 10-11:30 a.m. These classes are practical and offer hands-on fun. They educate residents about efficient ways to use water in your landscape, ways to use beautiful native plants and how to protect our local water quality. Refreshments are provided. Help Ventura become the most water-efficient community in California by learning more about these drought-busting topics:
  • May 2: Graywater & Rainwater Harvesting ~ 336 Sanjon Road
    Learn how to set up a simple laundry-to-landscape Graywater system; install a rain barrel or rain garden; and properly maintain these systems. RSVP: graywaterrainwater.
    eventbrite.com

     
  • June 6: Control Your Controllers ~ 336 Sanjon Road
    Irrigation Scheduling 101: Learn how to set your controller to ensure compliance with watering restrictions, prevent water run-off and keep your landscape healthy. RSVP: irrigationcontrollers101.
    eventbrite.com
 For more information, visit www.cityofventura.net/
water/landscape
or call 652-4501.












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