Your Water
Flood Protection
Water & Environment

Drought update



Zone 7 and its retail water suppliers serving Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and Dougherty Valley are requiring all customers to conserve during the drought.  Find more specific information at:   

  • To view Zone 7's 2015 drought flier, click here.
  • For rebate information, click here.
  • To sign up for e-news, which provides frequent updates on drought response, click here.

Continuing extreme drought conditions prompted Zone 7's Board of Directors to set forth water demand reduction measures needed to achieve an overall 25% cutback in treated and untreated water deliveries for 2014. The drought conditions are continuing in 2015.

Zone 7's 2014 Annual Review of Sustainable Water Supply was presented to the board of April 16, 2014. Among other things, it clarified the need for water retailers serving Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and Dougherty Valley to achieve conservation consistent with "Stage 2 Actions" under Zone 7's Urban Water Management Plan. To view a new brochure that outlines many of the conservation actions from the plan, click here.

Because the majority of water used for non-public health and safety is used outdoors, attaining a 25% reduction over the course of the entire year will require a much larger cutback in outdoor water use this summer.

The Stage 2 Action Plan consists of:

1) Reduce Indoor water use by 5%

  • Water service in restaurants to be provided only when requested.
  • Check your home's water meter to see if you have a leak (directions are posted at or by clicking here.
  • Leaks are prohibited. If you find a leak (even a small one), arrange for it to be repaired as quickly as possible.
  • Rebate programs for water-efficient appliances, low-flow toilets (replacing older, high-flow toilets) and waterless urinals will remain available while funds last (first-come, first-served).

2) Reduce outdoor water use by 50-60% (these limitations apply only to outdoor use of tap water; they do not apply to applications or use of recycled water).

The following practices are prohibited during the Drought Emergency:

  • Watering while it’s raining or less than three days after a rain event.
  • Any irrigation that results in ponding, flooding, excessive runoff or marshy conditions.
  • Watering during daylight hours, due to the higher evaporation rates.
  • Filling a new swimming pool or draining and subsequent complete refilling of existing swimming pools (in some extremely limited situations related to health and safety needs and localized groundwater conditions, waivers may be considered).
  • Refilling (topping off) swimming pools that are uncovered when not in use.
  • Use of non-recycling decorative water fountains.
  • Using hoses without quick-acting positive shutoff nozzles.
  • Hosing off sidewalks, driveways, building exteriors, etc.
  • Any use of potable water related to street sweeping, sewer maintenance, gutter flushing, etc.

Lawn and Landscape Irrigation Limitations

  • June - September: Water no more than twice per week
  • October - November: Water no more than once per week
  • December - March: No automated watering using potable water (landscape can be dormant).

As with potable water customers, agricultural (untreated water) customers will be provided no more than 75% of their projected demands (i.e., untreated water customers must also reduce their demands by at least 25%).

  • For information on available indoor and outdoor rebate programs, click here.
  • For additional water conservation tips and resources, click here.
  • To view a flier with additional information on how local businesses can conserve, click here.

Drought's effect on water hardness

In addition to the need for businesses and residents to reduce water use, another impact of the drought has to do with changes in water quality as the Valley relies more heavily on the water stored in its groundwater basin. Because imported State Water Project supplies normally conveyed through the Delta have been reduced this year from the average of 60% to a mere 5% of Zone 7’s contract amount, Zone 7 will be withdrawing from the water stored as groundwater during previous wet years to meet local demands. Using water from groundwater storage allows Zone 7 to deliver 75% of local demands instead of the 5% that would otherwise be available without this wonderful, invisible storage facility.

This use of groundwater means many more customers will be receiving well water than during a normal year. Even for those customers who routinely receive groundwater, there might be increased hardness due to reduced use of the demineralization facility (which reduces hardness but does so by “wasting” about 15% of the groundwater pumped).

As a result, some residents in the valley might notice that the water coming from their taps is “hard.” Hard water contains a higher amount of naturally-occurring minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium, than soft water. While hard water can create water spots and scale buildup on plumbing fixtures, it is safe for drinking, cooking and other household uses (in fact, calcium carbonate is the same mineral found in calcium vitamin supplements). Your water continues to meet all state and federal drinking water standards by a comfortable margin.