The El Dorado Irrigation District board enacted mandatory watering restrictions that went into effect on April 22 due to a second year of critically dry weather. The district is currently in a Stage 2 Water Supply Warning status and we are asking customers to voluntarily reduce water usage by 30 percent.
After two months of intensive outreach efforts to customers in the form of newsletters, automated telephone calls, e-mails, news releases, media interviews, direct mailed postcards, community meetings, website posting, social media postings, and more, to encourage customers’ active cooperation in meeting this goal, it became clear that the conservation goal was not being met.
The district is asking for a 30 percent reduction of water usage from the past three-year average. Despite this request, during the last two months water usage has continued to increase, jumping recently to a high of 14 percent over the last three-year average, measured on a weekly basis. Because of this, the Board felt it was necessary to immediately implement these watering restrictions. It is critically important that the district have enough carryover water, approximately 25,000 acre-feet, in its supply from Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake, in order to prepare for another dry winter in 2015, should it occur.
For those customers who have already conserved and reduced their usage, I say “thank you.” For those who can do more, please do. Your largest savings may be in the way you irrigate your lawn, as outdoor irrigation comprises the majority of your water use. At this point, it is really up to you, our customers, to conserve and preserve our water supply.
For more information on the drought, please visit our website at www.eid.org/drought. Here you will find useful conservation measures, our Drought Preparedness Plan, charts showing our current water status, helpful links pertaining to landscaping, drought tolerant plants, as well as other drought-related documents.
My closing thoughts are that I believe that it is always best to plan for the worst and hope for the best. EID is planning for a third year of a drought and we hope for a wet winter next year. However, with your help, we will be prepared for the third year of the drought if it comes.