U.S. Water News Online
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- Water restrictions will likely be
imposed this summer in Santa Cruz after what is shaping up to be the
driest season since 1990.
"It's pretty ugly. We haven't seen the rainfall pattern we need to
see," city Water Department director Bill Kocher said.
Total rainfall in the city since July 1, when the rain season
begins, measures 22 inches, well below the normal average 37 inches
The city's 25,000 water customers could be forced to cut back on
washing their cars and watering lawns if the skies don't open up in
the next couple months, officials said.
Water flow from the Santa Cruz Mountains to the San Lorenzo River,
the city's primary supply, is a fraction of what it should be. Only
16,700 acre feet of water has flowed into the river since October,
while last year the water flow was 120,000 acre feet.
During summer, when water demand pushes 14 million gallons a day,
outdoor water use is likely to be prohibited between 10 a.m. and 5
p.m., Kocher said.
To meet summer demands, the city is expected to rely on its
reserve water supply at Loch Lomond dam. But the Water Department
must continue to save water stored at Loch Lomond in case of another
rain shortfall next winter, Kocher said.
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