Latest Water Supply Update

Latest Water Supply Update
Nearly all of EBMUD's water supply originates in the Mokelumne River watershed.

In one of the driest years ever,
EBMUD asks the East Bay to stretch
its water supplies - and taps the Sacramento River for the first time.

Reduced runoff from this year’s storms means EBMUD reservoirs will not refill this year. Due to these excessively dry conditions in the Mokelumne River watershed where most of the East Bay’s water originates, EBMUD asks all its customers to continue to cut back their water use by ten percent. In addition, it  will draw on dry year supplies from the Sacramento River to fill local reservoirs this spring.

EBMUD monitors precipitation and reservoir levels daily. As of June 9, 2014, EBMUD had 451,190 acre feet of water stored in all its reservoirs combined. Our reservoirs are more than half full, or 71 percent of average. Precipitation since July in the Mokelumne basin was 25.85 inches, which is 54 percent of average.

As temperatures rise, water use will increase as it does every year. Voluntarily cutting back water use now will stretch supplies in anticipation of this summer’s increased demand for water.

What happens next?

In 1976-77, East Bay residents and the East Bay economy felt the pain of severe mandatory water rationing. To prevent such hardship from occurring again, EBMUD invested for more than three decades in improving the water supply and making conservation a way of life in the East Bay.

Today, the East Bay is better prepared than it has ever been to cope with a severe drought.

This year EBMUD purchased supplies of water from the Sacramento River that will flow into local EBMUD reservoirs in May and June.  The costs of buying, treating and delivering this drought year water supply are more expensive than our Mokelumne River supplies. EBMUD will absorb the cost of delivering Sacramento River water this May and June and avoid implementing a surcharge on customer bills. However, if additional water is needed later this year, a 14 percent supplemental supply surcharge may be applied to flow charges – resulting in a temporary increase of $6 for the average customer.

EBMUD’s water system is able to handle short-term droughts with a combination of conservation and Sacramento River supplies. By saving water today, we are better able to handle next year’s water needs – especially  if the drought continues.

How to cut ten percent

Since before the last drought started in 2007, customers have cut back 17 percent. To everyone who has made conservation a way of life, we thank you.

To stretch our supply even more this year, we ask you to cut ten percent of your current water use.

EBMUD is fortunate that employees and customers alike are conservation minded. We promise that if mandatory rationing becomes necessary in the future, customer allocations won't be based on use during this voluntary cutback period.

What you can do today is:

  • Slow your flow. Use our WaterSmart Home Survey Kit to evaluate your home’s water use and find leaks and inefficient fixtures.
  • Find and fix leaks. Toilet and irrigation systems contain some of the biggest and sneakiest leaks.
  • Watch your watering. When you turn on your irrigation system, look for signs of leaks, overspray and run-off. The temperatures may be warming, but nights are still cool this spring. Remember your lawn needs water only two days a week, and shrubs and trees only one day this time of year.
  • Upgrade appliances and plumbing fixtures to more water efficient models. EBMUD currently offers water conservation rebates to customers for toilets and washing machines.
  • Convert your thirsty lawn to a sustainable landscape and upgrade your irrigation equipment to efficient drip systems and self-adjusting controllers. Rebates are available for single- and multi-family residences and commercial customers.

Water is too precious to waste. Please:

  • Water plants, not pavement.
  • Don't use water in a way that causes runoff in gutters, patios, walkways, driveways or streets.
  • Wash your car at a car wash that recycles water; or if you are at home, be sure to use a hose with a shut-off nozzle.
  • Refrain from using water to wash hard surfaces like sidewalks, patios or driveways. If you must do so for sanitary reasons, use a hose with a shut-off nozzle.

Visit the WaterSmart Center for more tips to guide all customers in conserving precious water and fixing water-wasting leaks.

Board Briefings

The documents below are PDF files which can be viewed and printed with Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free software utility.

Fact Sheets