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WATER: Citrus Heights usage drops 21%, State lags behind

As California’s drought continues, the Citrus Heights Water District says its customers cut back water use by an average of 21.2 percent during the first eight months of 2014 – exceeding Governor Jerry Brown’s call for a 20 percent reduction.

water faucet
Photo credit: Sarah/mira66 via Flickr Creative Commons

Ranking among the highest water savers across the state, data shows CHWD users consistently beat statewide averages, which have only been in the single digits until finally hitting an 11 percent reduction in August, according to figures released by the State Water Resources Board in October.

State numbers show CHWD reporting a savings of over 1.45 million gallons of water in August alone, and District Assistant General Manager Darlene Gillum said the total 2014 reduction amounts to a savings of about 36 gallons per capita per day for local users, compared to water use in 2013.

Currently at a Stage 3 Water Warning level, Gillum said the District has “no near-term plans” to bump the warning up to a Stage 4, which would be accompanied by “Water Crisis/Emergency tiered pricing” increases, if the warning remained implemented past 45 days.

The current Stage 3 warning comes with a list of 11 regulations, including a ban on water run-off from properties, and a requirement that automatic shut-off devices be attached at the end of outdoor hoses. The warning also states that restaurants “shall serve water only upon request,” and landscape irrigation is to be reduced by 11 to 25 percent.

Water users in CHWD currently pay about a dollar for every 350 gallons the District delivers, although the Board of Directors will consider a 3 percent rate increase at a November 19 meeting.

Despite its name, CHWD’s service area doesn’t reach all of Citrus Heights, although a majority of the city’s residents are included within the District’s boundaries. Some portions of Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Carmichael, and Roseville are also included in the CHWD service area.

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