Oxnard has limited outdoor watering to one night each weekend in an effort to conserve water.
The City Council declared a local emergency Tuesday in response to the state’s drought and inadequate water supply. Oxnard’s resolution implements several restrictions.
“We’re taking a very focused look at everywhere we’re using water and we’re going to try to do everything we can to conserve,” said Joe Marcinko, the chief assistant public works director, on Friday.
Effective immediately, outdoor watering is limited to once a week, currently between 6 pm to 9 am on a specified day.
Home and business addresses ending in an even number can water on Saturdays. Odd-numbered addresses can water on Sundays. For addresses ending in fractions, the day will be based on the last whole number before the fraction. Someone living at 45 1/2, for example, would water on Sunday.
Parks and schools are also affected by the declaration.
The limitations do not affect sports fields to maintain playability of the lawn, but Marcinko said the city will likely let them turn brown.
Trees and plants can be watered outside the designated periods with a watering can or a hose with a shut-off nozzle. Drip irrigation systems can also be used.
Those who violate the water restrictions will be charged up to 50% of their most recent utility bill or $ 50, whichever is greater.
City staff will be looking for violations, but residents can make complaints through Oxnard’s 311 number and app, Marcinko said.
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The declaration falls in line with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Calleguas Municipal Water District boards’ decision to limit outdoor watering to one day a week last month.
“This is the worst drought in history for Calleguas since water began flowing from the State Water Project into the Calleguas service area in 1972,” said Dan Drugan, resource manager for the water district, on Tuesday.
The State Water Project, which feeds Calleguas, gets its water from the Sierra Nevada snowpack and transfers it to Southern California. The Metropolitan Water District sends that supply to Calleguas. Calleguas, a wholesale supplier, then provides water to cities and smaller providers that directly serve homes and businesses.
“There are a lot of people in Southern California that rely on the State Water Project and the more that users can conserve, the more we’ll have in storage in case we need it,” Marcinko said.
Due to the state’s drought and poor snowpack, Calleguas has less water for its customers. The California Department of Water Resources cut back the State Water Project’s allowance from 15% to 5% in March, Drugan said.
Calleguas supplies some of the water used by the cities of Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Camarillo, Simi Valley, Moorpark and Thousand Oaks. Its operations impact about 75% of county residents.
The Simi Valley City Council passed a resolution limiting outdoor watering to once a week earlier this month. The World water restrictions go into effect on June 1.
The Camarillo City Council will also vote on a similar ordinance on Wednesday.
The Calleguas service area could face stricter water limitations if drought conditions do not improve and conservation efforts fail.
Drugan told the council there is a high probability that the water district could prohibit outdoor watering entirely as soon as August.
Oxnard receives 40% of its water supply from Calleguas. The remaining 60% comes from groundwater.
To learn more about water restrictions, visit the site website, or call 805-385-3905.
Brian J. Varela covers Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Camarillo. He can be reached at email@example.com or 805-477-8014. You can also find him on Twitter @ BrianVarela805.