The Sunnyvale City Council has taken two actions regarding the current drought. On June 24, 2014 Council voted to declare a drought emergency,
calling on residents and businesses to reduce water use by 15 percent. More recently, on August 26, 2014 Council voted to declare a Stage 1 water shortage emergency.
This most recent action prohibits the following under Municipal Code Section 12.34.020:
- Allowing leaking plumbing or irrigation systems to go unfixed.
- Using water in any way that allows it to flow and run into gutters, streets, or storm drains.
- Using any watering hose for washing vehicles and paved or hard surfaces outside.
- Using a decorative fountain unless it recirculates water.
- Serving water at a restaurant or other eating establishment, except upon customer request.
Access the relevant Municipal Code.
The Council also approved the following additional restrictions:
- Limit watering hours to 6 p.m. to 9 a.m.
- Limit water duration – 15 minutes each station
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