Drought or a number of other uncontrollable circumstances can disrupt the normal availability of the utility water supplies. Even though a utility may have an adequate water supply, the supply can become contaminated or a disaster could destroy the supply. During drought periods, consumer demand is often significantly higher than normal. Some older systems or systems serving rapidly growing areas may not have the capability to meet higher than average demands without system failure or other unwanted consequences. System treatment, storage or distribution failures can also present a utility with an emergency demand management situation.
It is important to distinguish drought contingency planning from water conservation planning. While water conservation involves implementing permanent water use efficiency or reuse practices, drought contingency plans establish temporary methods or techniques designated to be used only as along as an emergency exists. An effective drought contingency plan will need to include the following six elements:
1. Trigger conditions signaling the start of an emergency period.
2. Drought contingency measures.
3. Information and education.
4. Initiation procedures.
5. Termination notification actions.
6. Means of implementation.
The Utility may have more than one source of water supply. Except for drought conditions in the summer time, each source might be adequate to provide water to the Utility in the event of failure of one of the other sources. Peak water demands during drought conditions double average day consumption of water and place the system in a condition of potentially being unable to fill the need.
For the purpose of this plan, trigger conditions will be based on the seven (7) day daily average demands. Utility governing body will be notified when trigger conditions have been reached and what the subsequent system reaction will be prior to the implementation of the plan.
1. Moderate Conditions.
a. Water demand reaches 90% of pumping capability.
b. Production at the combined sources is reduced to a point such that the aggregate surface water demand of the system is ninety percent (90%) of the reduced pumping capability.
2. Severe Conditions.
a. Water demand reaches 95% the pumping.
b. Production is reduced to a point such that the aggregate water demand of the system is 100 percent of the reduced pumping capability.
3. Critical Conditions.
a. Water demand exceeds 100% pumping capability for a 7 day period.
b Production is reduced to a point such that the combined sources can not meet the demand of the system.
4. Emergency Conditions.
a. Catastrophic failure of a critical component of the system that would limit water available to meet demand.
a. Inform the public through the news media that a “trigger” condition has been reached, and that they should look for ways to voluntarily reduce water use. Specific steps which can be taken will be provided through the news media.
b. Notify major commercial water users of the situation and request voluntary water use reduction.
c. Publicize a voluntary lawn watering schedule.
d. Car washing, window washing, pavement washing, prohibited, except when a bucket is used.
e. At the discretion of the Utility, the following voluntary lawn watering schedule shall be implemented: lawn watering restrictions shall be on a five day cycle. The scheme combines addresses whose last two (2) digits sum to nine (9), i.e., 9-0, 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5. Each combination would have a separate day of the week they would be allowed to water. This effectively reduces the peak in a five (5) day cycle water use.
All outdoor irrigation of vegetation by portable sprinklers shall occur only between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. on designated outdoor water use days. All outdoor irrigation of vegetation by permanently installed automatic sprinkler systems shall occur only between the hours of 12:00 A.M. (Midnight) and 7:00 A.M. on designated outdoor water use days.
The watering of the parks, playgrounds, green spaces, etc, prohibited, except on designated outdoor water use days, between the hours of 12:00 A.M. (Midnight) to 12:00 P.M. (Noon) and 7:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M. (Midnight).
The following public uses not essential to public health, or safety are voluntary:
1. Street washing
2. Water hydrant flushing
3. Filling swimming pools
4. Athletic field watering and other park irrigation is prohibited.
a. Continue implementation of all relevant actions in the proceeding phase.
b. The following mandatory lawn watering schedule shall be implemented: Lawn watering restrictions shall be on a five day cycle. The scheme combines addresses whose last two (2) digits sum to nine (9), i.e., 9-0, 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5. Each combination would have a separate day of the week they would be allowed to water. This effectively reduces the peak in a five (5) day cycle water use.
All outdoor irrigation of vegetation by portable sprinklers shall occur only between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. on designated outdoor water use days. All outdoor irrigation or vegetation by permanently installed automatic sprinkler systems shall occur only between the hours of 12:00 A.M. (midnight) and 7:00 A.M. on designated outdoor water use days.
The watering of parks, playgrounds, green spaces, etc. is prohibited, except on designated outdoor water use days, between the hours of 12:00 A.M. (midnight) to 12:00 P.M. (Noon) and 7:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M. (midnight). The irrigation of Golf Course fairways is prohibited.
a. Continued implementation of all relevant actions in proceeding phase.
b. All outdoor watering uses prohibited. Such use includes, but is not limited to the following: lawn watering, car washing and pavement washing.
c. By Utility action, implement a user’s surcharge for excessive water use.
d. At the discretion of the Director of Operations, ration or terminate water to selected portions of the system according to the following order:
1. Industrial/institutional users
2. Commercial users
3. Residential users
4. Public health and safety facilities
As a component of the information/ education section in the water conservation plan, the purpose and effect of the drought contingency plan will be communicated to the public through articles in the news paper and public service announcements through the Cable TV network, supplemented through pamphlets distributed at the same time. When trigger conditions appear to be approaching, the public will be notified through publication of articles in the news paper and public service announcements through the Cable TV network with information on water conserving methods. When “trigger” conditions have passed, the news paper and the Cable TV network will publish notification that drought contingency measures are abated for that condition and if applicable, will outline measures necessary for the reduced condition. Through the period of a “trigger” condition, regular articles will appear to explain and educate the public on the purpose, cause, and methods of conservation for that condition.
IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT
It will be the responsibility of the Director of Operations, of his designee, to monitor the status of water supply and distribution system. When a “trigger” condition is reached, the Utility will begin implementation of the Drought Contingency Plan. The Director of Public Works will continue the water emergency until it is determined that the “trigger” conditions no longer exists. When this takes place, the Utility will notify the consumers that the Drought Contingency abatement procedures will be implemented.
UPDATE OF TRIGGER CONDITIONS
Once a year, the Utility will examine the production requirements, and ability to maintain these requirements to determine if “trigger” conditions need to be reestablished. Consideration should be given to each.