East Bay Even More Golden

By Mark Orcutt, Communications and Outreach Manager
(Photo Credit: Shaylor)

Governor Jerry Brown’s call for increased water conservation is not going unnoticed throughout the drought-stricken and increasingly golden state.

Homeowners are allowing their lawns to fade to gold without fear of fines, the California Water Commission is adopting new rules that will uproot landscaping in new homes, $9.9 million worth of “purple pipelines” are being installed to deliver recycled water in the Tri-Valley, folks are lining up to fill tanks of recycled water from Dublin to Brentwood, and creative conservation messages are flooding the airwaves.

But, are we doing enough?

Well, according to two of the East Bay’s largest water suppliers (and active members of the East Bay Leadership Council) our region is stepping up and reducing water consumption in a big way.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and their more than 1.3 million customers were demanded to reduce water consumption by 16 percent compared to 2013, they responded with a 31 percent reduction in June.

And when the state ordered Contra Costa Water District and their nearly 200,000 water consumers to reduce consumption by 28 percent, they responded with an impressive 40 percent cut in the midst of June’s heat wave.

These savings are no accident and the East Bay Leadership Council’s Water Task Force remains focused on the future of water policy and has begun dedicating the beginning of each of their meetings to placing a spotlight on innovation in the region.

Just last month, EBMUD highlighted their innovative water recycling partnership with the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District and the Diablo Country Club. This project, which is scheduled to become operational by 2017, is not only a model for effective public-private partnerships, but is also expected to offset drinking water demand by 200,000 gallons per day.

There is not one simple solution to this drought, but it is clear that East Bay residents, employers, and water suppliers are ready to do their part to help us survive this historic dry spell.