Carlsbad CA— Starting August 1st Carlsbad Municipal Water District customers can use their sprinklers three times a week, for up to 10 minutes per station, on days assigned based on street addresses. Water officials say the change reflects the fact that Carlsbad has enough water on hand for the immediate future, but that using water wisely should be an ongoing way of life in our desert climate. rules. The new schedule is:
- ODD address: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
- EVEN addresses: Monday, Thursday, Saturday
- CONDOS, HOAs and BUSINESSES: Monday Thursday, Saturday
“Our hottest months are still ahead, and we recognize that means people will want to water their yards a little more,” said Mario Remillard, water conservation coordinator for the Carlsbad Municipal Water District. “People have done a great job cutting back their use, so adding one more day to the watering schedule seems like a fair way to reward their efforts while still emphasizing the importance of ongoing conservation.”
Noting that the vast majority of water is used for landscaping, Remillard said property owners should check out the many free resources and incentives that are available. The San Diego County Water Authority and partners have created the Sustainable Landscape Program, which encourages residents to capture water and retain it on their properties. It also encourages irrigation reduction and turf removal.
An incentive program is scheduled to start Aug. 15, giving customers $1.75 a square foot toward turf removal. Customers can sign up now for an interest list online.
“Rebate programs are very popular, so we encourage people who are interested to sign up now, before the money runs out,” said Remillard.
The watering restrictions apply only to traditional sprinkler systems. Customers using drip irrigation and other water-wise irrigation practices are not subject to the watering schedule.
“Our conservation rules are designed to give as much flexibility as possible to property owners,” said Remillard. “If run off is a problem, people can split the 10 minute time limit into two parts so water has time to seep into the soil. To keep trees healthy, we recommend using a hose or drip system once a week for a slow, deep watering to encourage deep roots and avoid run off.”
Carlsbad Municipal Water District remains in a “stage two” drought alert, meaning certain restrictions on water use are in effect, such as restaurants serving water only upon request and fixing leaks within three days.
In May, the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento changed its emergency water conservation regulations that previously required all water agencies in California to reduce their water use by a certain percentage over 2013 or face stiff fines. Carlsbad Municipal Water District originally was required to reduce its use by 28 percent. When the Carlsbad Desalination Project came on line earlier this year, the target was lowered to 20 percent.
“The San Diego region has invested significant resources to ensure we have a reliable water supply, and those investments have put us in a much better position to weather a prolonged drought,” said Carlsbad Municipal Water District General Manager Wendy Chambers. “These new state rules recognize that.”
The new regulations are based on a “stress test” approach that exempts water agencies from mandatory cutbacks if they have a three-year supply, assuming three more dry years like 2012 to 2015.
Over the past 25 years, the San Diego region has invested in diversifying its water supply so it would be more reliable. This has included Colorado River water conservation-and-transfer agreements, the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant and local water development projects such as water recycling facilities. The region’s reservoirs have also been expanded so as much water can be stored as possible.
The Carlsbad Municipal Water District, which already has one of the highest per capita usage rates for recycled water in the region, is currently expanding its recycled water treatment plant and purple pipe system.
“Carlsbad homes and businesses really rose to the challenge and reduced their water use by 20 percent since the mandatory cutbacks went into effect last June,” said Chambers. “Lawns have been replaced with beautiful low water use landscaping all over town. It’s really becoming the norm.”
The Carlsbad Municipal Water District, a subsidiary of the City of Carlsbad, serves about 85 percent of the city. South and southeastern portions of the city are served by the Vallecitos Water District and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District, which have their own water conversation rules.