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The Contra Costa Water District is asking customers to voluntarily cut water use by 10 percent after declaring a stage 1 water shortage last week.
The district’s board of directors announced the move July 7. It also said water stored in Los Vaqueros Reservoir, which is at about 77 percent capacity, will help meet district demands this year.
The district gets its water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and serves approximately 500,000 customers in central and east Contra Costa County.
The most recent rainy season was the state’s driest since 1977. With rising temperatures, a greater-than-normal amount of the area’s usual Sierra snow runoff has been absorbed into the dry ground.
In May, CCWD was told by the federal government its water allocation from the Central Valley Project was reduced and the district would receive only enough to meet public health and safety needs.
“Our customers are efficient water users and wise investors in water storage,” board president Lisa Borba said in a statement. “Asking customers to voluntarily conserve about 10 percent is appropriate in a year this dry. Without the water stored in Los Vaqueros for drought supply, we would be having a different conversation.”
The board on Wednesday unanimously approved moving CCWD into the first level of its water shortage contingency plan, which calls for 10 percent voluntary conservation. The board also said water waste provisions adopted during the last drought remain in place and will be enforced to prevent wasteful use.
Contra Costa Water District offers resources and rebates concerning reduction on its website.