East Bay water utility says stage 1 drought could be declared on Tuesday

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Drought conditions are having a major impact on a Bay Area utility’s water source in the Sierra Nevada foothills. 

As a result, the spokesperson for that water utility says a stage-one drought could be declared for customers as early as Tuesday.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District is experiencing a historically low precipitation cycle.

“Our EBMUD water supply average precipitation is just over 50%. We’re at 54% of average,” Andrea Pook, spokesperson for EBMUD, said. “It is definitely shaping up to be the driest year in our history.”

Those dry conditions prompted the governor to declare drought emergencies in Mendocino and Sonoma counties. 

It also led to Marin County being the first county in the Bay Area in 2021 to impose mandatory water-use restrictions. 

EBMUD’s spokesperson Andrea Pook says the utility district’s board of directors are considering making a similar call for its 1.4 million customers because of drought conditions.                           

“The board may be looking at a stage one drought and they would basically be deciding what actions to take. Those actions include voluntary conservation and purchasing supplemental water supplies,” Pook said. 

She says voluntary conservation is standard practice for most EBMUD customers from previous years of severe drought conditions.

“We appreciate what our customers are already doing. In the East Bay, we have a great ethic around water conservation. We live in a drought-prone area. California, we know what to expect. EBMUD is ready. Our customers, we feel, are ready,” Pook said. 

On Tuesday, EBMUD’S water supply availability and deficiency report for the 2020-2021 season will be presented to its board of directors, followed by a vote on whether or not to declare a Stage 1 Drought.

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