A Resident's Qwik-Guide to New Water Restrictions in Morro Bay

Rainfall from February 2nd’s storm measured 1.12 inches in Morro Bay, a drop in an empty bucket. In may rain again soon. Two drops.

Rainfall from February 2nd’s storm measured 1.12 inches in Morro Bay, a drop in an empty bucket. It may rain again soon. Two drops.

A 100-year drought is sweeping California and threatening the state’s drinking water supply. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, which supplies much of California with water during the dry season, was at just 12% of normal in late January. State water is dwindling to a trickle, and the outlook is dry… very dry.

When Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared the drought emergency on Jan. 17, he asked Californians to reduce their usage of water by 20%, As a direct result of the drought, Morro Bay residents must now observe strict, new mandatory guidelines to reduce water usage. The screws on water use could turn even tighter if drought conditions persist and present conservation levels prove insufficient.

Here are the restrictions and suggestions in a clam shell for Morro Bay residents:

  • Watering lawns and gardens is permitted ONLY on Tuesdays and Saturdays for odd-numbered property addresses, Wednesdays and Sundays for even-numbered property addresses.
  • Do NOT use potable water (drinkable water) for cleaning or washing boats, docks and marine facilities, or for driveways, patios, parking lots, sidewalks and other paved surfaces.
  • Do NOT wash cars with a hose, only pails.
  • Use automatic sprinkler systems only as needed. Use automatic shut-off hose nozzles.
  • Home water use should be limited. Take faster/shorter or start/stop showers.
  • Fix plumbing leaks and broken pipes.
  • Don’t install or use water fountains unless they use recycled water.
  • Restaurants will no longer provide water to customers unless requested.

Warning to flagrant water wasters: Users who fail to comply with conservation measures may have their water shut off by the city.

Drought Factoid No. 1: 2013 was the driest year in California in 119 years.

Drought Factoid No. 3: The four inches of rainfall recorded in Morro Bay in 2013 was the lowest total since measuring rainfall started about 40 years ago.

Readers with useful suggestions for conserving water, at home or business, are encouraged to share them in the comments section below.