Drought Emergency Continues (New Restrictions)
This past winter brought with it a fairly significant amount of rain, at least more than in recent years. This rain, however, does not mean that the historic California drought is over. In response to the continuing drought conditions, the Sunnyvale City Council, at its normal meeting on June 21, 2016, declared a continued drought condition and set a Stage 1 Water Reduction Target at 15 percent. An Ordinance amending the Sunnyvale Municipal Code Section 12.34.020 (Water Conservation Restrictions) was also approved. The amended Ordinance makes some previously temporary water conservation restrictions permanent and eases some watering restrictions. The amended Ordinance was set to be in effect from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.
In order to comply with directives from the State Water Board, Council made permanent the following restrictions:
- Irrigating with potable water during and within 48 hours after measurable (.20 inches) rainfall is prohibited
- Use of decorative fountains without recirculation is prohibited.
- The irrigation of ornamental turf on public street medians is prohibited.
- Operators of hotels and motels shall provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily
Additionally, Council eased watering restrictions by instituting a three-day-per-week sprinkler watering schedule as follows:
- Odd-numbered addresses may water on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
- Even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
Access the relevant Municipal Code.
**How to Read Your Water Meter**
Residential Gray Water Clothes Washer Systems
Water Supply Self-Certification
Under State Law, the City is required to complete a self-certification outlining the water supply availability coupled with projected demands. Questions regarding this certification can be directed to the Environmental Services Department at 408-730-7900.
Rain Barrel Rebate Program
Starting October 6, 2014 the City of Sunnyvale in partnership with the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency started offering rebates to users of rain barrels as part of a program encouraging residents to conserve drinking water and use other sources for landscaping.
Sunnyvale will offer $50 rebates per barrel up to two barrels per household or four for commercial properties. Barrels must be purchased between now and June 30, 2016, and maintained for at least three years after receipt of the rebate.
Owners will be responsible for installing the barrels but will be given guidelines as part of the rebate application package. Sunnyvale will be ensuring the barrels have screening to prevent mosquito breeding in the standing water.
Why Do We Need To Ration Water Now?
Water supply background: The City of Sunnyvale receives its potable water supply from 3 different sources: local groundwater, imported Sacramento Delta water from the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD), and Hetch Hetchy water from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC).
- In recent years California has faced water shortages due to several dry years.
- In a semi-arid region like California, water conservation needs to become a way of life and not just something we think about only in times of drought. To help achieve the goal of continued reliable supply of quality water today and in the future, it is important that we use water wisely every single day.
- In recent years water deliveries from the Sacramento Delta have been reduced by court orders in an effort to protect declining fish species.
- The Santa Clara Valley Water District board of directors has called for 20 percent mandatory conservation and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has called for 10 percent voluntary conservation.
How Can I Conserve Water?
Here are some simple suggestions to help you get started.The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average American uses 90 gallons of water a day. Faced now with a dwindling snowpack and lack of rain, city leaders and officials from the Santa Clara Valley Water District are hoping to change the way residents use water. Saving water starts at home, and although voluntary, it's something we all can practice. Without much inconvenience, practicing water conservation can help save hundreds, even thousands of gallons per month. Try to do one thing each day to save water. Don’t worry if the savings are minimal. Every drop counts and every person can make a difference. Even children can help. Ensure that your children are aware of the need to conserve water.