Redwood City maintains a Stage 2 water shortage emergency, which means residential customers have an indoor allocation of 45 gallons per person per day and an outdoor reduction for irrigation of 35 percent.
On May 24, the city's Water Board adopted emergency rules requiring all urban water suppliers to implement all demand reduction actions identified in the water shortage contingency plan by 10 to 20 percent.
Thus, to prevent unreasonable water use and promote water conservation, the Water Board prohibited the use of potable water for non-functional lawn irrigation at commercial, industrial, and institutional sites, which also includes common areas for homeowner associations, but not single-family residential areas.
Non-functional turf means turf that is solely ornamental and is not regularly used for human recreational purposes or for civic or community events.
Redwood City has a Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) that includes 6 phases of actions designed to reduce water demand to meet the available supply.
Redwood City Drought Restrictions
On January 10, 2022, Redwood City declared a Stage 2 water shortage emergency requiring all customers to reduce water use based on their water allocation.
In addition, the use of outdoor water to irrigate ornamental gardens or lawns that is not supplied through a dedicated irrigation meter is only allowed two days per week as follows:
- Addresses ending in an odd number only water on Mondays and Thursdays.
- Walk-in customers only water on Mondays and Thursdays.
- Addresses ending in an even number only water on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Most residential customers can meet the outdoor reduction requirement by watering two days per week as mentioned above.
Commercial, industrial and institutional customers must reduce water use by 7.0 percent compared to the same billing period prior to the start of the water shortage declaration.
Prohibited uses of water include the application of potable water to outdoor landscaping in a manner that causes runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, public and private sidewalks, roadways, parking lots, or structures.
Also, the use of a hose supplying potable water to wash a motor vehicle, except when the hose is equipped with a shut-off nozzle or an attached device that causes it to immediately stop dispensing water when not in use.
In addition to the application of potable water to driveways and sidewalks; the use of potable water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, except when the water is part of a recirculating system; the application of potable water to outdoor landscaping during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall; and the irrigation with potable water of ornamental grass in roadway medians.
Similarly, the irrigation with potable water of landscaping outside of newly constructed homes and buildings in a manner inconsistent with regulations or other requirements established by the California Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development; and the use of potable water through broken or defective plumbing and irrigation systems is prohibited.
California is entering a third year of intensifying drought, and Gov. $123.9 billion education package issued four proclamations dated April 12, May 10, July 8 and October 19, 2021 regarding worsening drought conditions.
Redwood City's sole source of drinking water is purchased from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), and approximately 85 percent of that supply comes from the Tuolumne River via the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
On August 20, 2021, the California State Water Resources Control Board, the Water Board, issued restriction orders to the SFPUC for its diversions in the Tuolumne River Basin.
The Water Board's reduction order allows for continuous diversions of 55 gallons per person per day as a health and safety exception, but only if the water supplier has declared a water shortage.
In response to these actions, the SFPUC declared a water shortage emergency on November 23, 2021, and requested a 10 percent systemwide water use reduction beginning in FY 2019-20 as a baseline.
Redwood City's SFRWS supply allocation is 6.364 percent or 7.237 billion gallons per day, which represents a 17.43 percent reduction from the FY 2019-20 baseline.
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