Reduce Water Use
Community, Sustainability

Reduce Water Usage

Water Budget and Violations Effective June 1st

Water is a precious resource and it is in poor form to waste it. There are plenty of ways to easily reduce water usage. Taking shorter showers, washing only full loads of laundry or dishes, replacing leaking faucets and installing water efficient appliances are a few steps everyone can take to reduce water usage.

Now it’s mandatory to reduce water usage throughout California. On June 1st the State enacted mandatory water restrictions requiring homes and businesses to reduce water usage and meet a 25 percent State-wide reduction in water.

Water Bill Changes

To help meet this goal, Cal Water is establishing a water budget for each customer and will charge a drought surcharge for each unit of water used over the established budget. Every customer will receive a minimum monthly allotment, which is equal to a 16 percent reduction of their 2013 water usage or a minimum amount of water equal to 4,488 gallons or 6-units per month. This provides enough water to meet basic health and safety needs.

If you have already reduced your water usage and are a conservation role model, then any further reductions should come naturally. If you’re just getting started, it may be a little challenging to take the first steps. If your home occupancy has increased or changed since 2013, Cal Water is offering an appeal process that provides customers with an opportunity to request an allocation adjustment. If there have not been any changes in your household, then now’s the time to brush up on the variety of ways you can conserve water. Super stars not using the full allotment of water will receive a water credit that can be applied for future use.

Don’t be a Water Waster

If you’re caught using excessive amounts of water, then don’t be surprised if you receive a warning or a fine from Cal Water. As of June 1st, the following fine-tier is in effect.

  • First violation will receive a written notice
  • Second violation results in a $50 fine
  • Third violation doubles to $100
  • Fourth violation may result in a flow restricting device placed on the service line

Cal Water has established a complaint form and encourages reporting of observed water waste. The City has recently received an increased volume of phone calls concerning the drought and water usage. The San Mateo community is taking the drought seriously and is vigilant about their water use as well as their neighbors. Please be aware and conscientious of the amount of water you are using to avoid unnecessary fines and potential neighborhood drama.

More information about State mandated water restrictions is available on Cal Water’s website. You may also contact the agency at (650) 558-7800 with any questions you may have about your water bill.

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