Tough new water restrictions now in place in one South Bay city

Tough new water restrictions now in place in one South Bay city
Photo Credit: Canva
By Wesley Severson - Published on July 15, 2021.

Santa Clara is the latest Bay Area city to join other cities and counties across the state to declare a local emergency because of worsening drought conditions. The Santa Clara City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to push ahead with the city’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan Stage 2.

The biggest part of the newly implemented conservation plan relates to the days residents can water their plants. They’re now restricted to a maximum of three days per week for all Valley Water District customers. Odd-numbered addresses can water on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays while even-numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

Another important aspect to note is that the spraying off driveways, sidewalks, porches, and parking lots is now banned. You also must have an automatic shutoff valve if you want to wash your car or boat. Also, restaurants are now only supposed to serve water to customers who ask for it.

Other restrictions are included on irrigation, which is not allowed between hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Watering lawns is also not allowed for 48 hours after measurable rain. City of Santa Clara spokesperson Maria Le told NBC Bay Area that the city will be getting the word out to residents before it starts issuing fines to violators. "We're really trying to educate the residents rather than fine anybody at this time," Le said.

Santa Clara is certainly not alone when it comes to newly-enacted water conservation measures. Last week, the Marin Water District issued new irrigation restrictions to keep the region’s water supply from dwindling even further. Marin has restrictions in place similar to Santa Clara.

KPIX posted a statement from the vice president of the Marin Water district’s board of directors:

“This drought is unprecedented and we’re asking all of our customers to use as little water as they can. These new irrigation restrictions are designed to enable us to reach our collective districtwide goal of reducing water use by 40 percent.”

Governor Gavin also added nine new counties onto the drought emergency list last week including Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. The governor says the declaration encompasses about 42% of the state’s population. Newsom is now asking all Californians for a voluntary water reduction of 15 percent.