LIVERMORE, Calif. (April 20, 2023) – The Zone 7 Board of Directors unanimously declared an end to the drought emergency and 15% mandatory conservation requirements at its regular board meeting on April 19, 2023.
The agency mandated a 15% reduction in water usage in the fall of 2021 in response to severe drought conditions and reduced water supply allocations from the State Water Project, the area’s primary source of water. The California Department of Water Resources, which runs the State Water Project, announced allocations would be increased to 75% in March, with potential for additional increases as the year progresses.
This is the highest allocation since 2019. For comparison purposes, allocations were as low as 5% during the drought, shifting reliance on the local groundwater basin to carry the Tri-Valley through the drought years. The significant increase in allocation will allow Zone 7 to begin recharging the groundwater basin with imported water in preparation for the next dry period.
Governor Newsom lifted statewide restrictions and emphasized the need for ongoing voluntary conservation efforts in March. Bans on wasteful water uses, such as watering ornamental grass on commercial properties remain in place.
During 2022, the Tri-Valley community, including homes and businesses within four different retail jurisdictions, saved 15% of water used in comparison to the previous year.
“We are grateful to the Tri-Valley community for their successful efforts to conserve water during the drought. We recorded some of the driest years on record for our area recently, and times like these remind us that water is a precious commodity,” said Zone 7 Board of Directors President Sarah Palmer. “Working together, our community saved 1.7 billion gallons of water in 2022 and we thank every resident in our community who reduced outdoor watering, replaced grass lawns with native and drought tolerant plants, saved their shower warm up water, and made other efforts to achieve these savings. Your small changes have made a big difference.”
While the mandatory restrictions are no longer in place, Zone 7 encourages the Tri-Valley community to consider conservation a way of life. Changes in weather patterns and severe conditions mean having reliable water supply and plentiful reserves such as our local groundwater basin are critical for long-term sustainability of our region. Everyday conservation tips and information on water saving rebates are available at zone7water.com/conservation.
About Zone 7 Water
Zone 7 Water Agency is one of the 10 active zones of the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. The District was established by the State Legislature in October 1949 to solve problems of flooding, drainage, channel erosion and water supply and conservation in Alameda County. In 1957, by popular vote, Zone 7 became a special district governed by a seven-member board of directors. Along with flood protection, Zone 7 supplies water to all of eastern Alameda County and a population of 266,000 residents. Treated water is sold wholesale to local retailers, including the cities of Livermore and Pleasanton, the Dublin San Ramon Services District, and the California Water Service Company. Zone 7 also distributes untreated water to local agriculture operations and golf courses.