The California Water Service (Cal Water) requested to move into Stage 2 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan in the Willows District with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Friday in light of worsening drought conditions and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order calling for local water suppliers to make this move.

“In Stage 2, irrigation limits would be established – two times per week on specified days based on customers’ addresses – and penalties for water waste would be increased,” said Yvonne Kingman, director of corporate communications for Cal Water. “We filed the application with the California Public Utilities Commission at the end of last week, and – if approved by the Commission - it will go into effect on May 22.”

As part of this process, Kingman said the utility will host a virtual public meeting for customers on May 11, starting at 5:30 p.m.

“It will include details about Stage 2, the irrigation restrictions, prohibited uses of water, and conservation programs we have available to support customers,” said Kingman.

Cal Water is also sending information in the mail directly to customers to inform them about Stage 2 and the upcoming public meeting, according to Kingman.

“We want to help educate customers so, together, we can conserve more water, and we want to empower customers to take action to save water every day,” said Kingman. “To help customers, we’ve expanded our conservation programs – recently doubling many rebates, launching a lawn-to-garden rebate and spray-to-drip conversion rebate, and starting a Smart Landscape Tune-Up program.”

Kingman said the utility constantly monitors and evaluates local supply and demand conditions, and made the decision to move into Stage 2 in the Marysville District based on current supply and demand forecasts and because the area needs to achieve greater levels of conservation, particularly as the area prepares to enter the warmer, drier summer months.

“Behind the scenes, we’re also working to ensure a reliable water supply by replacing, repairing, and upgrading infrastructure to minimize water loss; identifying and repairing leaks through a water loss auditing and control program; developing 30-year Water Supply and Facilities Master Plans, which enable us to identify and address potential gaps in supplies; and updating our local Conservation Master Plans to ensure we implement programs that maximize water savings,” said Kingman.

The public meeting can be accessed at on May 11. The presentation will be available online at after the meeting.

Cal Water’s Willows District serves approximately 7,200 people through 2,400 service connections in the Willows area and about 2 million people through 492,600 service connections in California, according to Cal Water officials. The utility has provided water service in the area since 1930.

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