January 31, 2014
The San Benito County Water District’s Board of Director’s met on Wednesday, January 29th and announced they are considering declaring a Water Shortage Emergency for the county. A Hearing has been planned for Tuesday, February 18th.
Once the Hearing takes place and if a Resolution is passed, the District intends to implement their Water Shortage Contingency Plan. This Plan is part of the Hollister Urban Area Water Management Plan. A document that was developed jointly with the City of Hollister and the Sunnyslope County Water District. The Plan includes a four-stage rationing plan with voluntary and mandatory rationing depending on the severity and duration of the water supply shortage. Currently, the Plan would call for a Stage I response. This would trigger a voluntary water conservation effort from the community with a goal of reducing water demand by fifteen percent.
The urban area of Hollister depends mainly on groundwater. Our groundwater basin acts as an underground storage facility for water. Sufficient storage remains in the basin to accommodate additional consecutive dry years with limited imported water availability.
Imported CVP Water
The Bureau announced that there would be a “zero” allocation to agricultural customers this year due to historically low precipitation amounts. The District also receives Municipal and Industrial (M&I) water from this system. This water has a higher reliability due to health and safety reasons. Based on a zero allocation for agricultural water the District would expect a fifty percent allocation for M&I use. This amount could be less when the Bureau makes their official announcement in the coming weeks.
The Water Resources Association of San Benito County (WRASBC) represents the City of Hollister, the City of San Juan Bautista, the Sunnyslope County Water District and the San Benito County Water District for all their water conservation and water resource protection programs. All the members of the Association urge area residents to reduce their water use. The first thing to do is to call the WRASBC for a FREE leak check and water conservation consultation. They can be reached at (831) 637-4378. For water conserving tips and ideas, visit their website at: www.wrasbc.org.
Submitted by: Shawn Novack
Water Conservation Program Manager
Water Resources Association San Benito County