Water district lowers rates, downgrades regulations

At an eventful July 20 meeting of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) Board of Directors, the board approved moving from Level 2 water rates to Level 1 water rates, effective on July 31 bills. It also unanimously approved a move out of a Level 2 Water Supply Shortage into Level 1, so while practices that waste potable water will remain prohibited by the state, water conservation efforts in OMWD’s service area are now voluntary.

“OMWD customers are to be commended for their conservation efforts,” said Larry Watt, Treasurer of OMWD’s Board of Directors. “Residents slashed their water use by 25 percent, cumulatively from June 2015 through June 2016 compared to 2013 usage by scheduling free water use evaluations, taking advantage of rebates for water-efficient devices and making lasting lifestyle changes suitable for our coastal desert community.”

The move to Level 1 was a result of the recent State Water Resources Control Board order allowing agencies to determine their conservation standard based on the ability to meet demands with existing supplies. OMWD customers are now able to irrigate as often as their landscape requires provided that runoff does not occur and it has been at least 48 hours since measurable rainfall. There are no restrictions limiting irrigation to specific days or times, however the most advantageous time to irrigate is before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. to prevent water loss from evaporation or wind.

OMWD continues to encourage conservation and water use efficiency, and offers a variety of programs to encourage conservation, including site visits and rebates on water saving devices. More information about these programs — as well as a list of state-mandated restrictions that remain in place — can be found at – Submitted press release