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North Marin Water District Urges Customers To Save Water

The North Marin Water District is urging customers to conserve water because of the drought. Customers are being asked to take several steps to save water.

image - Patrick Feller/Creative Commons
image - Patrick Feller/Creative Commons
While the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) started pumping water out of Phoenix Lake today because of the ongoing drought, North Marin Water District (NMWD) customers are being urged to conserve water.

North Marin Water District, General Manager Chris De Gabriele says they have issued a newsletter to customers requesting them to conserve water.

"We urge our customers to turn off all outdoor irrigation, fix leaks and take part in our water conservation program," De Gabriele said.

Both water district's reservoirs are low but the situation differs. De Gabriele explained that the MMWD gets 75-80 percent of their water from Mt. Tam reservoirs and Phoenix Lake and only 20 percent from the Russian River.

The NMWD usually only gets 20 percent of their water from their reservoir and 80 percent from the Russian River. However now with the drought conditions they are getting 100% of their water from the Russian River.

Rick Voorhees January 17, 2014 at 06:15 PM
Marin County as a whole,wastes more water then they actually take in. My point here is when we get hit with gulley washers or a heavy rain the water mgnt will let it spill over the spill ways...It's like someone who is greedy and doesn't care how much they waste as long as they get their share....Believe me that's what will happen when we get hit with heavy rains.....Instead of thinking long term they only think of today and tomorrow. Desalination is the only answer.......Just saying....
novato 3per January 17, 2014 at 06:28 PM
Rick, are you aware that MMWD is mandated to release water to maintain mandated stream flows to protect spawning salmon, steelhead and other species in the riparian ecosystem ? (pretty much nonexistent so far this year, I'm afraid) . I would be in favor of a desal plant, in theory, however, but I would need some convincing that more than just the salt has been removed before I would drink the bay water . I also would be strongly in favor of limiting future new residential development projects in the County based on water capacity at times like these, particularly "affordable housing mandates - isn't this drought declaration the silver bullet we've been waiting for to kill this AH beast? Can someone fill us in if it works like that? If not, it SHOULD.
Michelle D January 18, 2014 at 01:26 PM
Joe brings up an excellent point; residential irrigation systems. Outdoor irrigation is usually the largest volume of water usage, percentages vary but on the average it can be 70% of your monthly bill. If homeowners and or their gardeners became more engaged in programming their old fashion irrigation clocks or investing in a new "Smart Controller" (average cost is about $400 with the weather station, which is about 150.00 more than a old fashion simple controller ) there would be a lot less water waste. If the garden also used more drought adaptive plants and mulch there would be even more savings. Cut back on the amount of lawn and install stream style rotor heads instead of traditional spray heads and the savings is even greater. Along with the various rebates that Marin's water company's are offering, a variety of mini YouTube tutorials and educational booths set up at the farmers market and other shopping/commercial areas is needed to help educate the homeowners in Marin in how to manage their water use.
Dave Robertson January 18, 2014 at 03:06 PM
While it is a bit premature to call this a drought year - it can't hurt to take precautions. It is interesting, however, that Jerry Brown was Governor during the drought of 1976-7 that involved extreme water rationing measures in some areas. Calling this a drought year on January 17th is getting very extreme. We have had an extreme drought so far this Fall and Winter - yes - and it is causing problems (wildfires, etc.). But to assume that this will continue is really not quite it's time. In February or March or even April (none of which is unheard of), weather conditions could set-up a storm path that could soak much of California in 1 week to 10 days. We would have so much water, we wouldn't know what to do with it. We would go from a drought to a flood year. The bottom line is that we just don't know. It seems that Jerry Brown loves a good emergency - and could even use it to manipulate other political goals as well. Lets wait and see what happens.
Dave Robertson January 18, 2014 at 03:23 PM
Local politics might take a lesson from all of this. We are now all panicked about the potential of a drought. But we continue to plan and build housing in this state. In America we have 49 states, and then we have California. What do we have ---- 1/6th or 1/7th of the US population? This is way out of proportion with the rest of the country. As a state, we have done miserably to manage our finances over the last 20 years. The State government is full of waste and unmanageable, as are many of the local governments. Yet we don't have the industry (nor the potential to build much more industry) to support all these people we are looking to come and live here. Recently some state legislator made a proposal that California be broken up into 6 or 7 states. While that is a bit absurd (and too much), it highlights the fact that we have grown too big to govern ourselves. The USA depends on the Federal government working in concert with the state governments. Yest it doesn't seem to be working very well here. Our water infrastructure is very convoluted. The north of California provides a good deal of water for the southern part of the state 500 miles away. Even in the northern part of the state, in our own back yard - Novato is almost totally reliant on Sonoma for maintaining it's water supply in a GOOD year. It doesn't make sense. To top that off, we go out of our way to protect every species of wildlife we can find - at a water cost that is likely enormous. Basically, we want our cake and to eat it too. We want to have the nature and beauty of California, but we want it to thrive economically (and industrially) as well. Sometimes "you can't always get what you want" (to quote Mick Jagger). This may be one of those times. Or do we want to develop our own country? That would be absurd. But frankly, we act as if we do without even knowing it. And it isn't working.

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