The Rancho Santa Fe Post

June Water News: The Governor Brown Effect

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Gov. Brown has been busy…how his actions will/might affect you: Media has done a decent job of discussing the new State indoor water usage target that will take effect in 2022: 55 gallons/day/person for indoor use. That target drops to 50 gallons/day/person by 2030. If you’d like to estimate how difficult it might be to meet that target, look at your water bill for the months of January - February 2017. If your water bill for this time period was around 4.41 units multiplied by number of persons in your household, then you’ve already achieved Gov. Brown’s dream target for 2022. (1 person in household = 4.41 units; 2 persons in household = 8.82 units, etc.) If your bill was nowhere close to 4.41 units/person in your household, then apply this simple formula to get a quick and dirty estimate of your current indoor water usage: number of “units” on water bill multiplied by 748 gallons divided by sixty days divided by number of people in your household.

In case you’re wondering how accurate this quick and dirty calculation might be, February 2017 had 5 ½” of rainfall with January 2017 at 4 ½”, resulting in SFID water sales reaching at least a ten year low as customers turned off their outdoor irrigation. District staff calculated Jan. ’17 usage at 123 gallons per capita per day, with Feb. ’17 coming in at 127 g/p/c/d, based on water produced divided by number of people in District based on latest census numbers. Might you already be saying to yourself that SFID is a really, really long way from meeting Brown’s indoor water usage targets? Yep. Where does your estimated daily indoor water usage per person fall? Close to Gov. Brown’s 2022 dream target? Not so close?

And we’re not even talking about what Sacramento is gonna tell SFID about targets for OUTDOOR water usage. Yikes. My Div. 3 includes Fairbanks Ranch properties and large Covenant properties with groves, etc. The powers that be in Sacramento say they will apply evapotranspiration data to irrigable land data to calculate how much water SFID “should” sell. Hmm. Gov. Brown’s 2015 emergency drought measures taught us that SFID was routinely declared the highest per capita water users in the State. It remains to be seen how much water the State will decide the District “should” be selling. The recently passed law has a provision for fining water purveyors who do not meet their targets $1,000/day. By way of contrast, during 2015, Brown’s water emergency declaration stated the State Water Resources Control Board could fine water purveyors up to $10,000/day for not meeting targets.

June 21, 2018 SFID Board Meeting: adopt FY 2019 Budget. FY ’19 has no additional District employees. As referenced previously, CalPERS pension payments increased rather dramatically, wholesale water price increases will be passed through from MET and San Diego County Water Authority; CIP (Capital Improvement Project) spend is up dramatically over current year as the District will be breaking ground on new infrastructure projects; employee salary spend might adjust in January 2019 as their salary MOU expires December 2018, and it remains to be seen what customers will be charged for fixed meter and volumetric water rates mid-year as the District is undertaking a new COSS (Cost of Service Study) to set water rates anticipated to take effect January 1, 2019. As always, SFID welcomes public comment. Meeting starts at 8:30 am.

June 27, 2018 Special Board Meeting - Cost of Service Study - 8:30am: This meeting will be the second scheduled Special meeting to review the draft Cost of Service Study. Alternate rate structure designs will be explored. The District has approved special public comment time rules which are more generous than our regular monthly meeting rules. Come on down. All are welcome. It should be a very informative meeting.

Planning on removing turf? Metropolitan Water District has set aside fifty million dollars in FY ’19 for their turf replacement program, now called the Landscape Transformation Program. Program officially starts July 1, 2018, and currently SFID is not aware of any additional monies that might be available to our customers to supplement the MET rebates. MET has rules about who and what qualifies for this $1.00/square foot turf removal program. If turf removal is on your radar, get on it ASAP once the turf removal program funds July 1, 2018.

SFID Water Usage increased dramatically for April 2018: Customers consumed 396 gallons per capita per day in April. (Can you already feel the target on our backs once Sacramento dictates what is considered “efficient” water usage?) To recap, January ’18 was 251 gpcd; February ’18 was 317 gpcd; and March ’18 was 219 gpcd (2 ¾” of rainfall).