Another County Hit With Water Restrictions

 The Contra Costa Water District board of directors approved a  drought management plan Wednesday night that calls for customers to reduce  their water usage by 15 percent beginning May 1, a district spokeswoman said  today.
While the rationing is not intended to increase water rates,  customers who use more than 1,000 gallons per day and who fail to make the 15  percent reduction will be charged an excess use charge of four times the  normal rate.

Customers who use less than 1,000 gallons per day and who continue  to use the same amount of water will not be charged an excess use rate,  according to Senior Public Information Specialist Jennifer Allen.

Anyone who increases water use will have to pay an excess use  charge of four times the average rate, according to Allen.

People who have had a change in their household and need a higher  allocation can apply for an adjustment, Allen said.

The district made special provisions in the new ordinance for  industrial customers, who are only being asked to reduce water use by 5  percent, and un-metered irrigation and agricultural customers, who are being  asked to reduce their water use by 45 percent.

The water rationing plan also prohibits certain water uses,  including washing sidewalks and driveways, washing cars with hoses that don't  have a shut-off nozzle and operating decorative fountains that don't  re-circulate water. Over-watering lawns and filling decorative ponds are also  banned, according to the district.

The decision to impose mandatory water rationing came after the  federal Bureau of Reclamation, which manages the district's water, reduced  the district's allocation by 55 percent, Allen said.

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