Livermore Residents Lead Conservation Efforts, Help Bay Area Cut Water Usage by 13 Percent in July

The California State Resources Board reports Bay Area residents slashed water use by an average of 13 percent in July.

Livermore residents were among those leading the way in cutting back water usage.

"You rarely say to people in the US or California you could run out of water and have nothing," says Darren Greenwood, Livermore's Assistant Public Works director. "And that threat or possibility might have been what got people's attention."

Greenwood says the city let residents know running dry was a distinct possibility as the state threatened to cut Livermore's water allocation to zero. City officials in response launched an aggressive campaign.

"Basically what we said a very simple message to cut your outdoor use by 50 percent," Greenwood says.

Watering in Livermore is now allowed just two days a week. Robo calls, door hangers, warning letters and recycled waste water have all been part of the mix to scale back water usage in the city.

Livermore even has a hotline for residents to report water wasters. The efforts have led to a 35-percent cut in Livermore's water usage.

"We've really worked hard," Greenwood says. "It's good to see that it's paid off."

The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District is doing its part by letting much of its lawns go brown. The district plans to roll out more synthetic turf fields.

Livermore-resident Terry Emfinger's family has cut back water usage dramatically -- lawns are brown, the fountain is dry and pots are now a permanent fixture in the family shower.

"My daughter has buckets in the shower until the water gets warm," Emfinger says. "I have to empty them on dry spots on the lawn. We've cut back watering program

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