Dear Yorba Linda Water District Customer,
As part of the District’s efforts to inform and engage its customers regarding State legislative and administrative actions that impact you, we want to share information about a few bills that are pending in the Legislature that could have a significant impact on the District.
Below we have provided information about two bills supported by the YLWD Board of Directors, AB 1654 and AB 968 by Assembly Member Rubio, which propose reasonable water use efficiency management standards for urban water districts. Two competing bills that are opposed by the YLWD Board of Directors, AB 1668 and AB 1669 by Assembly Member Friedman, would provide the State with greater authority to mandate conservation without regard for local water conditions or investments. We hope that you will take the time to learn more about these bills and express your views to your state legislators.
Senator Newman - http://sd29.senate.ca.gov/contact
Assembly Member Chen - https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/ContactPopup.php?district=AD55&inframe=Y
To help facilitate this, we have provided draft letters consistent with the positions adopted by the YLWD Board of Directors below. Deadline May 23, 2017
(These bills impact the entire state of California, if you wish to share the letter to individuals outside of YLWD boundaries - please visit, http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov for the correct representatives based on your address.)
May 11, 2017
The Honorable Josh Newman
State Capitol, Room 4082
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax Number: (916) 651-4929
The Honorable Phillip Chen
State Capitol, Room 4177
Sacramento, CA 94249
Fax Number: (916) 319-2155
Re: AB 1654 (Rubio): Urban Water Management Planning - SUPPORT
AB 968 (Rubio): Urban Water Use Efficiency – SUPPORT
AB 1668 (Friedman): Urban Water Management Planning - OPPOSE
AB 1669 (Friedman): Urban Water-Use Efficiency Standards and Use
Reporting - OPPOSE
Dear State Senator Newman and Assemblyman Chen:
As a customer of Yorba Linda Water District, I am writing to express my support for AB 1654 and AB 968 by Assembly Member Rubio, two bills that will significantly improve urban water use efficiency in cooperation with local water districts. Conversely, I would also like to convey my opposition to AB 1668 and AB1669, legislation which proposes one-size-fits-all solutions to local water supply management directed by the State Water Resources Control Board.
AB 1654 would enhance existing reporting and drought response requirements related to water shortage contingency analyses, as called for by Governor Brown. Under the bill, urban retail water districts would report annually to the Department of Water Resources on the status of their water supplies for that year and whether supplies will be adequate to meet projected customer demand. If supplies are not adequate to meet demand, the water district would be required to implement the appropriate responses as described in their water shortage contingency analysis. This gives urban retail water districts the ability to self-certify that their water supplies are sufficient.
AB 968 would establish new water efficiency targets for water districts that makes water use efficiency a way of life in California. These efficiency targets would account for local conditions, while also recognizing and incentivizing sustainable, balanced approaches to water management. AB 968 would also establish a collaborative stakeholder process to continue improvement in water use efficiency beyond 2025, and would preserve the Legislature’s authority and oversight over long-term water use target setting.
Contrary to the positive, collaborative approaches to urban water management proposed in these two bills, AB 1668 and AB 1669 by Assembly Member Friedman would unnecessarily place local water management decisions in the hands of the State, irrespective of local water infrastructure investments, conditions and needs.
AB 1668 would establish arbitrary numeric water supply targets based on a one-size-fits-all approach that does local circumstances, potentially stranding investments in local drought-resilient supplies and negatively affecting local economies. AB 1668 includes enforcement provisions that are vague and appear to subjectively penalize water suppliers. In addition, AB 1668 bill would impose additional drought planning and reporting requirements on water districts as part of their Urban Water Management Plans.
AB 1669 would grant the State Water Board authority to adopt “interim” standards (prior to 2021) for urban conservation via emergency regulation, and unlimited and ongoing authority to adopt long-term standards (2021 and beyond) that “are in addition to, or exceed the standards” initially adopted under these provisions. It also would authorize the State Water Board to issue a cease and desist order and associated penalties for the violation or threatened violation of any regulation adopted by the board. Consequently, the bill would provide the State Water Board with unprecedented permanent authority to limit water use into the future, regardless of local water supply conditions and investments in drought preparedness.
To protect water users and ratepayers, I urge you to do all can to support the passage of AB 1654 and AB 968 and oppose AB 1668 and AB1669.
Yorba Linda, CA (May 11, 2017) – YLWD announced today that on April 26, 2017, the District successfully sold $29.3 million in revenue bonds which will result in $4.2 million in savings as compared to the outstanding 2008 certificates of participation it is refinancing. The escrow account closed on May 11, 2017.
The bond team led by the General Manager, Marc Marcantonio and Finance Manager Delia Lugo, successfully worked with financial advisors at Fieldman, Rolapp & Associates, Inc., specialized legal counsel at Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth, P.C. and Citigroup to issue the new bonds to refinance the 2008 issuance. An additional $6 million was raised to fund the Fairmont Pump Station which will provide significant distribution safety, redundancy and versatility to deliver water within the unique geography of the District.
The successful endeavor took advantage of current low interest rates. The project included key meetings with Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, the two credit agencies that rated the bonds. Standard & Poor’s assigned a rating of AA+ and Fitch Rating assigned a rating of AA to the bonds. The refinancing project followed strict legal requirements, generated significant disclosures and sale of the bonds at the end. Additionally the low interest rate allowed the District to efficiently raise $6 million in additional capital for a vital long-term asset, the Fairmont Pump Station.
The Board established this project as its major priority, explaining the bond offering will provide a stronger foundation for YLWD’s financial future while the Fairmont Pump Station secures a safe, economical and reliable distribution asset for decades to come.
In Southern California, the gardening season can begin as early as mid-March. If you’re starting your garden, you will probably spend several days preparing your soil and transplanting new plants. But, once you’re done with that, there is one more step that you shouldn’t forget: laying down mulch.
Mulch provides an additional protective barrier between the environment and the roots of your plants, and can do so much for your garden.
Mulch can be made from organic matter or from non-organic materials. Organic mulch can be made from grass clippings, leaves, shredded bark or wood chips. Non-organic mulches include gravel, river rock or decomposed granite.
Organic mulches tend to be better weed barriers than non-organic varieties since seeds have an easier time slipping through rocks to the soil level. But, for the same reason, organic mulch also acts as a greater barrier to irrigation. Water finds its way to the soil much more easily if it can roll down the smooth surface of river rock than if it meets shredded wood, which can trap and absorb the water.
Mulch is not required for healthy plants, but the benefits make it worth the extra effort.
California experienced an exceptionally rainy season this year. All that precipitation, when combined with our usual warm spring temperatures, will likely lead to more weeds than normal in your garden this spring. If weeds become a problem, they can rob your flowers and vegetables of water, light, nutrients and root space.
Mulch protects your garden from weeds in two ways: It prevents seeds from reaching the soil, where they would take hold and germinate. It also reduces sunlight penetration to the soil surface, drowning out the light to those seeds that do find their way down.
Mulch insulates the soil to help regulate the temperature of plant roots. This keeps your plants in their optimal temperature ranges, even during the heat of the summer.
According the the EPA, the average American family uses 320 gallons of water per day. Approximately 30 percent (96 gallons) of that is used for outdoor irrigation.
Mulch reduces the water needs of your garden, cutting your monthly consumption and keeping your water bill down. Mulch slows evaporation to help the soil retain water, keeping roots moist longer. This is especially true if you choose an organic variety, since it will absorb water.
For even more water efficiency, consider replacing your spray sprinkler heads with drip irrigation, which delivers water underneath the mulch and practically eliminates evaporation.
Can add nutrients to the soil
Many people choose inorganic mulches, like stone, because they do not need to be replaced as often. However, these do not contribute to the life of your soil, or the growth of your plants.
Organic mulches break down over time. As the material slowly decomposes on top of the soil, the process can release nutrients that feed your plants. Shredded leaves and grass clippings are rich in nutrients, break down quickly, and are inexpensive (or free, if you get them from your own yard). Avoid using whole leaves, as they quickly form a dense mat of soggy, decaying matter that blocks out sunlight and oxygen.
Prevents soil compaction
Mulch helps prevent compaction of soil due to foot traffic. You work hard to make sure your soil is light and aerated. The addition of mulch provides a cushion that helps keep it that way, even as you plod about, tending to your plants.
Can help ward off bugs
Certain types of mulch, like cedar bark, have natural oils that repel many common garden pests, including slugs, moths and snails. Cedar mulch also prevents splashing during rainstorms, which can control the spread of fungus spores.
Conversely, very fragrant mulches can attract pests to your yard, so talk to your landscaper about what is best for your location.
Overall, mulch provides a multitude of benefits to your garden. And, there are a wide variety of materials and application methods. For best results, research to find out which options meet your needs. If you are looking for more information, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) provides a printable document covering everything you ever wanted to know about mulch. Check it out.
Every yard has unique irrigation requirements. Even within your own yard, you may have multiple zones with varied needs. Some zones might be shady and cool, while others are exposed to the hot sun for most of the day. Some areas may have loose, well-aerated soil, while others have rocky, tightly compacted dirt.
The watering needs of these diverse zones are best met using different approaches. Sprinklers are suitable for large, flat, open areas, but drip irrigation systems are the most efficient and precise water-delivery method for smaller areas.
Drip irrigation systems have many advantages over traditional sprinkler systems. These include...
They use 20 to 50 percent less water than conventional pop-up sprinkler systems. Sprinklers use high pressure to disperse water over large areas. They soak everything in their path and lose water to wind, sun and runoff. Drip systems, however, deliver low volumes of water, at low pressure, directly to individual plants. They minimize water lost to wind, runoff, evaporation and overspray.
They give you better-hydrated plants with less water consumption. Because water is delivered more slowly with drip systems, plants are watered more deeply. This encourages the establishment of healthy root systems that lead to more robust plants.
Drip systems are fully customizable. They provide the most efficient watering of different plant varieties in areas of any shape or size. They are also appropriate for plants that require a specific watering schedule.
They are ideal for heavy, dense soils like clay and loam. Drip systems deliver between one and four gallons of water per hour. A typical sprinkler head delivers approximately 3 gallons per minute. At such a fast watering rate, the water never has time to percolate down to the root zone in highly compacted soils. A slower water application rate helps your plants get more of the water you're giving them.
Drip irrigation minimizes plant diseases that arise from having excess water on the foliage. Because water is delivered only to the soil around the base of the plant, drip systems help eliminate the growth of fungi on your plants. (Incidentally, drip systems also eliminate the damage that sprinklers cause to buildings, fences and hardscapes.)
They help reduce the growth of weeds between plants. Since drip systems only water the areas around your plants, weed seeds will have a hard time getting the moisture they need for germination in any other spaces. And when you add mulch, your garden should have minimal weed issues.
Convert sprinklers to drip in as many areas as possible. Consider installing drip around trees, shrubs, and gardens in place of a conventional sprinkler system.
Perform proper maintenance. Check periodically to make sure all of your emitters are working as expected. Check for too much or too little watering. Check for broken or loose tubing. Clean clogged emitters and the filter. Make occasional adjustments to the placement of emitters. As your trees and plants grow, you should move emitters and add more if necessary.
Drip lines are designed to rest on top of the ground. They cannot be buried by soil or turf; however, they can be hidden by mulch. Covering with mulch has two primary benefits: Mulch helps prevent most water loss to evaporation, and maximizes the efficiency of your system. It also prolongs the life of your drip system, as leaving the lines exposed to the sun causes them to break them down more rapidly.
Group plants together based on the amount of water they need. Annual plants generally need a lot of water. Because they have intense blooms, they need a substantial amount of water but, because they have a short growing time, they never have time to develop deep roots that make them able to extract more water from deeper layers of the soil. Perennials, on the other hand, have time to grow extensive root systems, so they don’t require as much water once they become established. Mixing the two plant types will cause either drought stress of the annuals or over watering of the perennials.
If you are considering converting your sprinklers to drip irrigation, the MWDOC spray-to-drip rebate program could help reduce your costs. The current residential rebate is up to $175 per kit for up to three kits. Click here for more information.
Landscape irrigation leaks can be hard to detect, but they can cost you big. Even a small leak can waste as much as 6,300 gallons of water per month. That's enough water to take 252 ten-minute showers!
To keep your irrigation system efficient, and reduce water waste, follow these simple tips:
Thanks to automated controllers, irrigation systems usually run while most people are asleep. If it has been a while since you’ve witnessed your system in action, do a “wet check.” Turn the system on and walk through your yard, looking for leaks or broken sprinkler heads. Do this at least once a season, but up to once a month.
Observe your lawn immediately after you complete a watering cycle. Check for pooling water, which could indicate that you have an underground leak in the water line. Also look for erosion in your soil, which could be the result of a cracked or broken irrigation head. Broken heads are not technically a leak, but they can waste gallons of water every time your system operates.
Unusually lush or fast-growing grass in just one location -- especially around an irrigation head -- could be a sign that you have a leak. Alternatively, inexplicable dry grass could indicate that a break in one zone is robbing pressure from another zone, and it is not being watered correctly.
Slow leaks in irrigation pipes are exceptionally difficult to detect. You probably won't even know you have this type of leak unless you read your water bill. Look for a sudden spike in water consumption that is not related to indoor water use; it could be a clue that something is going on in your irrigation system. Pinpointing the source of the leak may require the services of a professional leak detection firm.
If you notice any of these problems, consult a licensed landscaper for a professional assessment of your irrigation system. Immediate repair could help you conserve water and save money, and it could save you from even larger leak-related problems down the road.