Cambria CA declares water shortage watch due to drought


A water meter cover in Cambria, California.

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The Cambria Community Services District Board has declared a Phase 2 water shortage watch with the aim of reducing the small coastal community’s water use by 20%.

The 4-1 vote took place at the board meeting on Thursday afternoon, with board member Harry Farmer dissenting. He said he didn’t believe a Stage 2 declaration was strict enough.

Cambria’s implementation of Stage 2 water shortage comes after prompting the California Water Quality Control Board, which voted in May to require local agencies to implement Stage 2 of their emergency plans in case of water shortage by June 10.

The vote was mostly in line with an executive order from Gov. Gavin Newsom in March, which underscored the importance of water conservation as the ongoing drought is leading to dwindling supplies.

Cambria has a six-step water shortage contingency plan, ranging from “efficient water use is a way of life” as the first step, to “exceptional water shortage emergency”. ‘water’ as sixth.

The second stage indicates that “the water supply of the small coastal community may be insufficient to meet the ordinary demands and needs of water consumers”, according to the water scarcity resolution of stage 2 adopted by the board on Thursday.

As things stand, Cambria is water-deficient, meaning its demand far exceeds its viable supply.

Cambria customer demand is currently about 542 acre-feet of water per year, or about 177 million gallons, according to the Community Services District.

Meanwhile, the district’s groundwater sources – San Simeon and Santa Rosa creeks – are expected to be able to supply just 473 acre-feet of water.

That leaves the community with a projected 69 acre-feet of water deficit for the year, according to the Community Services District.

Stage 2 water shortage monitoring should solve this problem, according to Ray Dienzo, director of Cambria’s utility department.

“Twenty percent will give us a reduction of 108 acre-feet for the whole year,” Dienzo said at Thursday’s meeting.

To achieve this, Cambria customers have a few new water restrictions they must follow.

These include using landscape irrigation with potable water for no more than three days per week and no more than 15 minutes per day per station and washing cars in a commercial car wash that recirculates the water or a high-pressure, low-volume system.

The filling of irrigation water cisterns with potable water is prohibited, although the use of non-potable water for irrigation is permitted at all times.

Cambria Community Services District staff will also be increasing waste water patrols and providing rebates and giveaways for high-efficiency plumbing and landscape irrigation during Phase 2 water shortage monitoring. .

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Mackenzie Shuman writes primarily about Cal Poly, SLO County education, and the environment for The Tribune. She is from Monument, Colorado and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in May 2020. When not writing, Mackenzie spends time outdoors to hiking, running and rock climbing.

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