The County Water Resources programs works with the water agencies to encourage county residents to use water wisely and to use no more than absolutely needed. All of our groundwater basins are overdrafted and our streams experience very low flow during the summer and dry years. It is important for all users, including private wells and water systems, to minimize their water use, particularly irrigation and outside water use which does not soak back into the ground. The County implements various programs to promote water conservation and minimize wasteful water use:
2015 is the forth dry year in a row, with 2013 the driest in the historical record. On August 19, 2014, the Board of Supervisors adopted emergency provisions for the drought in Santa Cruz County:
- All county residents including those on small water systems and private wells are urged to reduce water use by at least 20%.
- All County departments and employees are directed to immediately implement water conservation measures and take all reasonable actions to reduce water use by at least 20% at County facilities.
- County residents and agencies should work together to reduce water use and develop additional supplies as needed to reduce the impact of future droughts.
- To read the complete language of the resolution, please see the Prohibited Water Uses page.
These actions are endorsed by all county water agencies. Some agencies will be requesting reductions by their users, depending on the condition of their water supplies and the severity of the drought. To learn about their restrictions, or to report water waste see their websites.
The State of California has also taken action. For more information on the updated state laws, please see the Emergency Conservation Regulations.