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Urban Water Shortage Contingency Plan

The State of California requires each urban water purveyor serving more than 3,000 connections or 3,000 acre-feet of water annually to have an Urban Water Shortage Contingency Plan (Water Shortage Plan) which details how a community would react to a reduction in water supply of up to 50%. Santa Rosa's Water Shortage Plan was first adopted in 1992 and is periodically updated, at a minimum every five years. The City's Shortage Plan provides guidance on demand reduction strategies for the Santa Rosa water system. The 2015 Water Shortage Plan is the most current update and was adopted by the City Council on June 14, 2016. Click on the links below for additional information on the following components of the City's 2015 Water Shortage Plan:

Reduction Stages

The Water Shortage Plan outlines seven rationing stages with corresponding community-wide water demand reduction goals as follows:

 

Table 3: Stages of Water Shortage Contingency Plan

Stage No.

Percent Demand Reduction Goal

Water Supply Condition

Stage 1

Up to 10%

Up to 10% Reduction in Agency Water Supply 

Stage 2

11-15%

11 – 15% Reduction in Agency Water Supply

Stage 3

16-20%

16 – 20% Reduction in Agency Water Supply

Stage 4

21-25%

21 – 25% Reduction in Agency Water Supply

Stage 5

26-30%

26 – 30% Reduction in Agency Water Supply 

Stage 6

31-40%

31 – 40% Reduction in Agency Water Supply

Stage 7

41-50%+

41 – 50%+ Reduction in Agency Water Supply

NOTE: Stage 1 and Stage 2 are voluntary stages.

Customer Consumption Limits

At the time of a water shortage emergency, the Santa Rosa City Council will adopt a Water Shortage Resolution. During Stages 5 through 7, a Water Shortage Emergency Ordinance will also be adopted.

To achieve the overall reduction goals, a community-wide goal is assigned in Stages 1 through 4, and allocations are determined for each customer class for Stages 5 through 7. To achieve the reduction goals for Stages 5, 6, or 7, priorities for water use have been established, from highest to lowest, as follows: health and safety; commercial, industrial and government; existing landscaping; and new demand.  Based on these priorities, different consumption limits have been established for each customer account type.

  • Residential Customers - Consumption limits are based on per person water use plus a small amount for irrigation.  Basing residential consumption limits on a per person basis is the fairest way to allocate water; it ensures that previous water conservation has been taken into consideration, and it does not penalize those that are already implementing water conservation activities. 
  • Commercial, industrial and government customers - Consumption limits are based on prior year demand.
  • Dedicated irrigation accounts - Consumption limits are based on plant type and evapotranspiration data. 

Consumption limits for each customer category are outlined in Section 5 of the  Water Shortage Plan.

Number of Residents per Household
To update the number of residents or find out the number of residents listed for your account, you can click here to submit your information electronically or you can call the Utility Billing department at (707) 543-3150.  In addition, information on the number of residents in your household is listed on your utility bill every month. 

Drought/Water Shortage Rates

The Water Shortage Plan includes a proposed water shortage rate structure based on modifications to the current potable water rate structure. The water shortage rate structure (See Table 9) is designed to encourage customers to reduce water use per consumption limit.  The water shortage rate structure includes a Water Shortage Charge (See Table 7) added to all water sold when mandatory rationing is in effect and an Excess Use Penalty         (See Table 8) is applied during Stage 5, 6 and 7 water shortages on all water used above allocations.

Water Shortage Charge  

    

Water Shortage Charge (WSC)-Stages 3 through 7

 Stages 5, 6, and 7

Water Rationing Stage

Water Usage Charge(WSC)

Stage 3- Tier Allocation Usage Charges for single-family residential, duplex, dedicated irrigation accounts

Tiers 1 and 2 Rates Plus 5% WSC

Stage 3- Uniform Usage Charges for Multi-Family Residential Accounts (3 units or more), Commercial Industrial, Institutional, Health Care and Safety.

Uniform Rate Plus 5% WSC

Stage 4Tier Allocation Usage Charges for single-family residential, duplex, dedicated irrigation accounts

Tiers 1 and 2 Rates Plus 10% WSC

Stage 4Uniform Usage Charges for Multi-Family Residential Accounts (3 units or more), Commercial Industrial, Institutional, Health Care and Safety.

Uniform Rate Plus 10% WSC

Stage 5-  Tier allocation usage charges are eliminated for single-family residential, duplexes and dedicated irrigation accounts. The uniform water usage charge applicable to all customers.

Uniform Rate Plus 15% WSC

Stage 6-  The uniform water usage charge applicable to all customers.

Uniform Rate Plus 20% WSC

Stage 7-  The uniform water usage charge applicable all customers.

Uniform Rate Plus 30% WSC

In addition to the Water Shortage Charge, an Excess Use Penalty (EUP) for all water used above the consumption limits specified in the current, adopted  Water Shortage Plan will be implemented for all potable water accounts as follows: 

Excess Use Penalty 

 

Excess Use Penalty (EUP) for Water Used in Excess of Allotment

 Stages 5, 6, and 7

Water Use Compared to Allotment

Excess Use Penalty (EUP)

Water use up to 100% of allotment

Water usage rate with WSC per Table 7

Water use from 100% up to 150% of allotment

Stage 5 – Water usage rate with WSC plus 10% EUP

Stage 6 – Water usage rate with WSC plus 25% EUP

Stage 7 – Water usage rate with WSC plus 50% EUP

Water use over 150% of allotment

Stage 5 – Water usage rate with WSC plus 20% EUP

Stage 6 – Water usage rate with WSC plus 50% EUP

  Stage 7 – Water usage rate with WSC plus 100% EUP

If a water shortage emergency is declared, water shortage rates will only go into effect when a Stage 3 through 7 water shortage is adopted and water shortage rates are approved by the City Council.  A Stage 1 and 2 water shortage does not change current water rates.  The water shortage rate structure only affects the water use portion of the water bill when Stages 3 through 7 of the City‘s Water Shortage Plan are implemented.  The water shortage rate structure does not impact or change the current fixed monthly charges for water or recycled water, recycled water user charges, wastewater user charges, or the wastewater fixed monthly charges. 

 

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