TUD eyes severe water cutbacks

By Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat

PUBLIC MEETING: Tuolumne Utilities District Board of Directors, 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, TUD boardroom, 18885 Nugget Blvd., Sonora.

Facing an historic water shortage this year, Tuolumne Utilities District will attempt to cut system-wide water use in half by implementing mandatory water conservation measures.

The TUD board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss launching Phase III water conservation measures, which would require customers to limit water use at the risk of a $500 fine.

"The current water supply and snow pack is below 50 percent of normal for this time of the year," TUD General Manager Tom Scesa said in a memo to the board. "In order to protect the little water supply that we have and to protect the future supply for TUD customers and other county residents … staff is recommending that a system reduction goal be set at 50 percent."

Under Phase III mandatory conservation measures, customers would be required to:

• refrain from using a hose or other source connected to the TUD water supply to wash surfaces such as streets, sidewalks, walkways and driveways.

• curb "excessive water usage," which is defined by the district as 200 percent more than the previous year for a given month, or failing to repair leaks identified by TUD.

• limit or voluntarily stop all outside watering.

• water landscapes only on allowed days. Under a district rotation proposed, people living at even-numbered addresses would be allowed to water between noon and 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Residents of odd-numbered properties could water between the hours on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. There would be no restrictions on Mondays.

For the full story see today's Union Democrat.

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