Riverside, Calif. – Riverside’s City Council voted Tuesday to follow recommendations by Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) and its Board of Public Utilities to return to Stage 1 of the city’s Water Conservation Ordinance, which will eliminate mandatory outdoor watering restrictions.
“We are able to return to this level of our water conservation ordinance because of the change in how our water resources are now being calculated by the state, and due to the tremendous efforts that all of Riverside’s water customers put forth to comply with the state’s emergency drought regulations over the past year,” said RPU’s General Manager Girish Balachandran.
The changes in status of the ordinance level means that once mandatory restrictions, like those limiting the number of days that customers could use outdoor irrigation, are now voluntary. “We’ve got the water for our customers to use,” Balachandran said, “but not to waste, never to waste.”
Wise use of water by the city, the utility, and its customers are the reasons Riverside was able to return to this level of its ordinance, Balachandran pointed out. “And it will be through our ongoing wise use and conservation of our resources that will allow us to continue to meet current and future needs.”
To help customers keep usage and water bills low, RPU is continuing to offer several water conservation rebate programs that can offset costs of making homes and businesses water wise inside and out. These include: rebates for installing high efficiency clothes and dish washers; free low-flow sprinkler nozzles; rebates for installing Weather Based Irrigation Controllers (WBICs); and the popular water wise landscape program which encourages removal of thirsty turf areas.
Additional changes to the drought ordinance included: new definitions and language updates to match the state’s new regulations; elimination of duplicate standards and language; and clarifications of certain exemptions for gray and recycled water, use of drip irrigation, and splash pads.
Meanwhile, prohibitions by the state on water wasting practices like: watering that causes runoff; washing vehicles without a shutoff valve; washing of sidewalks, roadways, and driveways; and failure to repair leaks are still illegal and can carry fines for failure to comply with conservation rules.
Unreasonable use restrictions are now effective at all times, even without any drought conditions or if any stage of Riverside’s water conservation ordinance is in effect.
For complete details on available programs offered, and for updated information visit RiversidePublicUtilities.com or call (951) 826-5485.
Established in 1895, Riverside Public Utilities is a consumer-owned water and electric utility that provides high quality, reliable services to over 108,000 metered electric customers and up to 65,000 metered water customers throughout the City of Riverside. The Utility is committed to increased use of renewable energy resources and sustainable living practices that help reduce environmental impacts within the City of Riverside and the state of California.