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Part of CPUC process to allow regulated utilities to enact conservation
APPLE VALLEY — The water supplier to the majority of town residents told hundreds of customers Friday that there is a
new paradigm in water use.
Summer cutbacks are the key to meeting mandated state water conservation measures.
The information was presented during the company’s authorized presentation of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan for addressing the need to save water during the state’s drought.
The company and its customers are required to achieve 28 percent savings in water use monthly, effective June through February. Penalties can amount to $10,000 a day for noncompliance by the company and $500 an instance of water waste by customers.
AVR will not be fining anyone, Eric Larsen, the company manager of financial services said. He did say that the company would move to Stage 2 immediately after the plan is approved.
Regulated water companies are being allowed by the California Public Utilities Commission to conduct their own hearings because of the emergency nature of implementing state drought measures. Results of the self-conducted public hearings and a record of oral or written comments are to be submitted to the commission.
AVR submitted its four-stage plan to the CPUC on May 22 and the company must submit the public hearing summary before the commission can approve it.
Regardless of when the conservation plan is approved, the 28 percent savings standard must be met starting this month.
Current water use restrictions for AVR customers include not allowing irrigation runoff, using shut-off nozzles for outdoor hoses, refraining from washing hard, non-porous surfaces, recirculating water in fountains and decorative features and not watering within 48 hours of measurable rain. Restaurants can only serve water on request and hotels must offer the guests the opportunity to forgo daily laundering services.
The plan calls for monthly residential allocations and drought surcharges, variances and appeals will be considered and customers will be notified when conservation stages are to be changed. Outdoor watering is to be limited to three days a week and leaks must be repaired with three business days.
A surcharge equal to the Tier 1 rate would kick in at the company’s drought Stage 2.
If more conservation is required at Stages 3 or 4, watering will become more limited, leaks will need to be repaired more quickly and drought surcharges will increase.
Non-residential surcharges will be 15 percent at Stage 2, 30 percent at Stage 3 and 45 percent at Stage 4.
The company recommends three basic ways to save on water use and expenses — change water-use habits, repair leaks and install water-saving devices. AVR offers bathroom and kitchen aerators, shut-off nozzles and shower timers, participates in Cash for Grass and toilet-replacement programs and will conduct free home water audits.
For more information on Apple Valley Ranchos’ drought contingency plan, go to avrwater.com.
Source: Gary Brodeur, Daily Press