On Tuesday, East Bay Municipal Utility District will receive its 2021 Water Supply Availability and Deficiency report where it could act to declare the districts water supply as deficient for meeting customer demands.
The Board could vote to declare a stage one drought which means those living within the District will be asked to voluntarily reduce water by 10 percent–though it could go as high as 15 percent.
According to the Agenda, they will receive the report then make the declaration.
To date, 2021 has been the second driest year on record in the Mokelumne River basin and the driest year on record for the East Bay. The District’s 2021 water supply assessment concludes that projected runoff and water storage require designating “Dry” water year type flows in the lower Mokelumne River under the District’s Joint Settlement Agreement (JSA). This determination is based on the California Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) April Bulletin 120 forecast with the forecasted runoff on the Mokelumne River at 43 percent of average. The end of September Total System Storage (TSS) is projected to be 475 thousand acre-feet (TAF) under a dry (90 percent exceedance) forecast, resulting in the District’s water supply being insufficient to meet customer demands after all required downstream obligations are met.
The report further highlighted:
The rainfall year total precipitation through April 12 in the Mokelumne watershed was 23.26 inches (54 percent of average) and the total precipitation in the East Bay was 8.31 inches (34 percent of average). The District’s median unimpaired runoff projection for Water Year 2021 is 290 TAF, and this corresponds to a current projection for TSS at the end of September of 500 TAF. However, dry year conditions are expected to persist, and at the 90 percent exceedance (9 of 10 years are wetter) for at least 2 more weeks, the projected TSS is 475 TAF
On March 22, the State Water Resources Control Boaerd issued a notification informing water right holders of conditions and agencies should “start planning now for potential water supply shortages later this year” and identify and implement response actions that can be taken to minimize drought impacts.
The SWRCB also noted that if the conditions continue to worsen, there will be increased potential for statewide response actions.
During a Stage 1 drought, they will recommend implication of a customer use reduction to help reduce demand.
The District plans to work with the community to provide information and resources to help customers conserve, focusing efforts on education and public outreach– if declared, include survey kits, rebates, audits, and expanded outreach and education through social media and other mediums. This proposed action supports the District’s Strategic Plan Long-Term Water Supply Reliability goal.
Next Board Meeting: Tuesday, April 27
Regular Board meetings are normally held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month in the EBMUD Board Room. The regular meeting is divided into two segments: closed session at 11:00 a.m.; regular business meeting at 1:15 p.m.