Drought Information

Water Conservation

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REPORT LEAKS: 707.410.5469 or email Andy Walker

Update on Emergency Water Conservation Guidelines – “Plenty to Use, None to Waste”

The State recently adopted new water conservation guidelines that enables cities / special districts to enforce water conservation requirements that reflect their water supplies. Public Works staff has been working through these guidelines and has determined that Fairfield will be able to lift its mandatory water conservation requirements.  As a result, the City of Fairfield has rescinded our Stage II water conservation restrictions, which means that residents will no longer have a 3-day per week outdoor irrigation limitation requirement; however, the prohibition against outdoor irrigation between the hours of noon and 6 pm remains (this is part of our municipal code for normal conditions). 

There are several water use restrictions/prohibitions that remain in effect under the Governor’s executive order including:

Outdoor Water Use Restrictions

•      No runoff from irrigation
•      No washing of Motor Vehicles without a shut-off device
•      No washing driveways or sidewalks
•      No decorative fountains or water features unless it recirculates
•      No irrigation within 48 hours after a measureable rain event
•      No potable irrigation of ornamental turf on public street medians

Indoor Water Restrictions

•      No serving water without request in eating or drinking establishments
•      Hotels and motels shall allow and prominently note that guests may decline daily laundry    
        service

HOA/New Construction

•     New landscape irrigation must meet newly adopted design standards for water efficiency
•     Homeowners’ associations and community service organizations are prohibited from
      threatening or taking action to enforce or penalize any owner for reducing or eliminating the
      watering of vegetation or lawns during a declared drought emergency”
 

Self-Certified Conservation Standard

City of Fairfield
Public Water System 4810003

In the latest Emergency Water Conservation Regulations adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board on May 18, 2016, each water supplier in the state of California has been encouraged to provide a self-certification of water supply and demand.  This analysis provides a framework in order to set a water conservation target to address water shortages should drought conditions persist for the next 3 years in the same severity as they have from Water Years 2013 to 2015. 

As complicated as water supply and demand can be, the State Board set a few parameters that narrow the analysis to a few input values that produce an estimated shortfall that the conservation target should be based on. 

Demand

In order to establish the urban water system demand component of the analysis, the board selected potable water production for calendar years 2013 and 2014 as input values.  The average of the two years will be the value of water demand for three projected drought years (2017-19). 

In Fairfield, these values are as follows: 

Gross Production of Potable Water from our Water Treatment Facilities

Calendar Year 2013

22,250 AF

Calendar Year 2014

19,584 AF

Average Demand

20,917 AF*


These two volumes are averaged to be used as the demand volume for each of the three Water Years of 2017, 2018 and 2019.
 
*Note:  This demand calculation is 18.6% higher than the actual use in 2015.

Supply

The supply analysis allows for more flexibility than the demand side.  Supplies may come from several different categories.  However, the emergency regulations are clear that water supplies must be currently treatable to a potable standard with existing infrastructure.  

In Fairfield’s case, our sources of water include surface water supplies from 1) the State Water Project, and 2) the Solano Project (a federal water facility that serves Solano County participants).   Under each source there is water that comes from a base allocation, carryover and separate agreement. 

State Water Project

Fairfield has a State Water Project Table A Allocation of 14,678 acre-feet.  In the 2013 to 2015 Water Years we had allocations of 35%, 5% and 25%.  These allocations do not include North of Delta additional allocations which would be available under normal circumstances.  Carryover and Settlement water are not shown as sources of primary supply under this analysis, although we expect that these resources could be utilized as we manage the demand needs of other sources of water. 

Solano Project

Fairfield has an Entitlement of the Federal Solano Project for 9,200 acre-feet annually, plus 18,018 acre-feet per year of additional Solano Project water through contracts with other local agencies (Agreement Water). In addition, Carryover Water from unused Entitlement is often available.  The reliability of this local water source is much higher than the State Water Project.  With a continuation of Lake volume reductions in line with the 2013 to 2015 Water Years, Fairfield’s allocation would follow a 100%, 95%, and 95% pattern.  

Solano County Water Agency

All water in Fairfield’s portfolio is Wholesaled Raw Water from the Solano County Water Agency who holds the State and Federal Contracts.  The following table outlines the water supplies available to the City of Fairfield in each year between 2017 and 2019. 

City of Fairfield Three Year Stress Test

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SHORTFALL

Supply shortfall as a percentage of total potable water demand is   -41.

This number is the supply shortfall calculated as a percent of average annual total potable water demand.  It is automatically calculated on our DRINC Portal submittal from information provided and is rounded to the nearest whole percentage point.  Since the value is negative, our Conservation Standard is 0%.

CONSERVATION TARGET

Fairfield will continue our conservation programs in a concerted fashion.  We will continue to staff our Water Enforcement position to meet the state emergency regulations.  Fairfield will also continue to monitor water use efficiency to meet our 20x2020 conservation targets.

We do not intend to have a conservation standard that is higher than the conservation standard.

Solano County Water Agency has also provided an analysis of supply reliability on their website, http://scwa2.com/water-supply  The tables in this analysis are shown below.

Water Conservation Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

In addition to the newly mandated targets and restrictions, the City of Fairfield provides a full range of water conservation programs to help people save water.

Household Programs

Single Family Surveys: The City runs the household survey program for all of Solano County. We will review past water use, make a site visit to check for leaks and hep to conserve water and money. Each year, conservation interns visit hundreds of homes and saves hundreds of thousands of gallons of water.

Rebates: In conjunction with Solano County Water Agency, Fairfield offers rebates for the installation of water saving equipment and plant materials. Visit the rebate section of solanosaveswater.org to see details on the money available and the details for each program.

Retrofit on Resale: State law requires that households that are sold replace any high flow water devices. Toilets, sink aerators and showerheads need to be upgraded, if necessary, to save water.

Large Landscape Design Standards: When landscaping is replaced or refurbished, we encourage using the latest equipment and design techniques to save water. Don't use thristy plant materials when there are so many attractive alternatives. Design elements can also keep from watering sidewalks and having water run off your landscaping into the street.

Commercial/Industrial/Institutional Programs

Along with the Solano County Water Agency, the City of Fairfield reaches out to meet the unique water conservation challenges that businesses face. We can tailor programs and resources to save water and money for your business or organization. Call us directly at 707.428.7487.

Large Landscape Water Efficiency Programs

The City of Fairfield monitors irrigation water efficiency at all of the large landscapes in our community. We provide review and notification services to assure that large landscapes are not overwatered. For more information, call 707.428.7487. To see the latest irrigation recommendations based on weather, visit our SMART Irrigation page.

Utility Systems Improvements

Metering Upgrades: Fairfield has recently gone through a process of upgrading water meters throughout the city. These meters provide data logging and automatically analyze use patterns to see if there are leaks. Our goal is to find problems and fix them before they become expensive water losses.

Water Loss Control: Along with the meter upgrades, the City is aggressively responding to water losses within the utility area. Your phone calls and emails help us respond faster to leaks. Hydrant flushing will only be done on a limited basis during drought conditions.


Additional resources:

Links for Information and Water Conservation Resources:

Solanosaveswater.org


SaveOurWater.com