Despite being in the midst of a severe drought that has afflicted much of California, some East Bay residents have still not gotten the message that it is time to conserve. Now, the East Bay Municipal Utility District is doing something about it after identifying three different residents using more than 2000 gallons of water a day, including one that is utilizing more than 3100 gallons a day.
The staggering numbers have been identified as belonging to residents in Richmond (3,191 gallons daily), Orinda (2,144 gallons daily), and Oakland (2,269 gallons daily) and were charted over the course of one billing from July through August. As a result, East Bay MUD have fined all three violators per the Excessive Water Use Penalty Ordinance.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District defines excessive use of water as:
consumption of water by a single-family residential customer who exceeds 132 units in one billing cycle. One unit is 748 gallons.
One cycle last approximately two months, and during Stage 2 droughts, the daily threshold is roughly 1,646 gallons per day. Per the ordinance, a penalty of $2 per unit of water used above the threshold is enforced.
The Stage 2 drought was declared in April by EBMUD, who at the time ordered all residents to reduce daily water consumption by 10 percent. Violators who went over the threshold limit in May and June received only a warning letter. Now though, going forward, those who continue to go above and beyond the ordinance’s guidance will receive harsh penalties.
Unfortunately, the prolonged drought that has afflicted much of the West Coast shows no signs of abating.
Last week, in a summary of California’s rainfall from the previous week, the U.S. Drought Monitor wrote:
Pacific weather systems dropped locally 2 or more inches of rain across parts of central and northern California. Groundwater continues low and many reservoirs were still very low to near record-low. The precipitation that fell this week did little to make up deficits that have built up over the last 5 years.