Because of California’s prolonged drought, new water restrictions went into effect Saturday in the city of Morgan Hill.
People do not have to look far in Morgan Hill to see evidence of the drought -- dry fields everywhere. That is why the Morgan Hill City Council acted earlier in April, declaring a Level 2 water shortage. Morgan Hill residents have done really well so far during the drought, conserving 20 percent of water use.
Garth Gilmour let his grass die and saves the water while the shower is running cold in a barrel. But that is still not enough, according to the notice he got from the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
“We were at 240 gallons a day and we were still higher than the average they were comparing us to," Gilmour said. "Sort of blew me away.”
Starting Saturday, a Level 2 water shortage in Morgan Hill means people can only water their lawns two days a week, must repair leaks within 48 hours of discovery, and can only refill swimming pools and spas to one foot.
Glenn Ritter said he thinks the new stricter water cutbacks are not enough. He wants a moratorium on a new home building.
“My concern is there’s truly not enough water for the existing residents, then why are they allowing thousands of new residents to come into town?” Ritter said.
But life could get harder. Morgan Hill, along with Hillsborough, Menlo Park and others, is also among the high water usage cities that could be forced to cutback 35 percent when state officials vote in May.
“It’s going to be pretty tough, but we’ll do the best that we can to make sacrifices,” Tyler Lack said.
Statewide, the average water conservation for February was barely 3 percent.