WATER WATCH: Glendorans Cut Back Significantly on Water Usage in May

Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Residents reduced their water usage in the month of May by nearly half compared to the same month in 2013, state and city officials announced recently.

The city cut residential gallons per capita per day by 48 percent compared to the same time period, according to the California State Water Resources Control Board. Glendora’s monthly savings was estimated at 118.7 R-GPCD this May for a population of 50,073.

Statewide, residential water consumption was cut by 28.9 percent this May compared to the same time in 2013, according to the State Water Board, an 11 percent increase from 2014.

Across the state, 237.3 billion gallons of water was saved, enough to supply 2.38 million Californians for a year, the state said.

The news comes on the heels of the June reporting period in which the new restrictions began and will be measured, state officials said.

While the data appears promising, Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers cautions that the next nine months ahead are far more crucial. Starting with June, the state will begin monitoring water usage and issuing reprimands if necessary.

“This has sort of been a test. While we’re pleased, the real proof of how well we do in the eyes of Gov. Brown and the State Board will be what we report starting June through February of 2016,” Jeffers said.

On May 26, the city approved an estimated $6.4 million emergency ordinance to comply with the new state restrictions. About $4 million of that cost will be to implement 7,000 new Smart Meters throughout town and retrofitting 6,500 others into Smart Meters.

While drivers may notice the yellowing of median grass along city streets, Jeffers said crews are working to save the 31 young trees along street medians by installing water bags, while drip irrigation lines are also being installed. That work could be finished by August.

The city has also increased staffing to handle the conservation effort, with one full-time management analyst and one full-time conservation officer. The city now has two full-time management analysts, three full-time and two part-time conservation officers and one full-time office assistant.

The Community Services Commission will also be considering turf removal designs for city landscaping and may discuss those at the July 17 Community Services Commission meeting, Jeffers said.

Jeffers believes that the momentum from the May conservation effort will show with possible double digit savings in June.

“This is a doable thing. I know it sounds like a lot. Our hope is that working together, we’ll be able to do this and make Glendora proud of the effort, but it takes everybody working together,” Jeffers said.