Officials of the Wine Country city declared Friday that because of "severe drought" conditions — which are teetering on historic, at this point — all of its over 12,000 residents must reduce their water usage immediately, specifically announcing a ban on the use of automatic sprinklers and irrigation systems.
California is experiencing arid unseen in generations, with nearly the entire Bay Area under "exceptional drought" conditions; the same also be said about parts of Southern California. Heeding advice from water management experts and environmentalists, Healdsburg officials have, as of late, continually advised denizens of the small city to greatly reduce their water use. Just before the weekend, those same city officials went one step further to enact an emergency mandate geared at conserving some 40% of water use.
“The Russian River watershed is in a severe drought and the hottest days of summer are still to come,” read a portion of the mandatory order that also prohibits washing personal vehicles and hosing down driveways, the Chronicle reports. “This year, the region received 13 (inches) of rain compared to the average 38 (inches), and the reservoirs are alarmingly low.”
While residential customers are currently given a specific "water budget" of 74 gallons per person per day, commercial customers are told to reduce water usage by 40% — though it's unclear how that will be both metered and monitored. Construction crews, too, are now ordered to use recycled water.
Not surprisingly, new swimming pool permits will not be issued applicants; those individuals who can prove that the water for the pool would be sourced from outside Healdsburg’s potable water system, however, can apply for said swimming permits. And you can forget about water being delivered to your restaurant table without first asking for it; the present order says drinking water is only available upon request at Healdsburg eateries and bars.
For a complete list of in-place restrictions — which, as mentioned before, includes a ban on sprinkler and drip irrigation systems — click here.
While San Francisco has reduced its water use over the previous year, consider conserving water by hand-washing dishes, taking three-minute showers, and flushing less often — the latter alone helping conserve between 3 to 7 gallons of water, per flush.