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Nevada City reports 41 percent water reduction

Nevada City staff have reported a 41 percent reduction citywide in water usage from May through mid-July, compared to 2013, exceeding the mandates issued by Gov. Jerry Brown and the State Water Board.

According to Nevada City Water Treatment Plant Supervisor Howard Schmitz, the city’s water flow totals show, when comparing a two-and-a-half month time frame from May 2013 to July 18, 2013, to that same time period this year, the city had a total water reduction of around 30 million gallons.

“The city has done some huge things,” Schmitz said. “The guys have really stepped up here. We’ve set up pumps and we’re using our reclaimed water and using that for a lot of the processes here at the treatment plant … I would say we’ve saved two million gallons a month at the wastewater plant alone.”



On Jan. 17, Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency due to the state’s severe drought conditions, and asked all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20 percent.

“I’d say that the majority of it is citizens cutting back. I know these numbers are low-balled, I think we’re actually saving more.”Nevada City Water Treatment Plant Supervisor Howard Schmitz

In June, Nevada City approved a resolution that establishes mandatory restrictions to conserve potable water, limiting the watering of outdoor landscapes to no more than two days per week.




On July 8, the Nevada City Council passed a resolution declaring a stage 3 water shortage warning, establishing mandatory water restrictions to conserve potable water in the city.

As part of the city’s drought action plan, the resolution reiterates water regulations put forth by the State Water Resources Control Board on May 5.

The restrictions require residents to reduce water use by 25 percent, and encourages a 35 percent reduction between the months of July 2015 and February 2016.

City Engineer Bill Falconi said the city’s more than 41 percent reduction over recent months is largely due to the city’s reduction of water use in local parks, and use of recycled water for sewage purposes.

According to Schmitz, city staff will continue to track the city’s water reduction primarily by comparing the water use recorded at the city’s plant in previous years, to what is being used now.

Schmitz said he believes the city’s recent success in water conservation also comes from residents responding to the drought.

“I’d say that the majority of it is citizens cutting back,” he said. “I know these numbers are low-balled, I think we’re actually saving more.”

For more information, go to http://www.nevadacityca.gov.

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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