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  Consent-General Government   # 8.       
County Administrator  
Meeting Date: 09/14/2021  
Brief Title:    Water Conservation Program Ordinance
From: Philip J. Pogledich, County Counsel
Staff Contact: Kimberly Hood, Assistant County Counsel, x8172

Adopt ordinance adding Article 7 to Chapter 8 of Title 6 to the Yolo County Code to adopt a Water Conservation Program. (No general fund impact) (Pogledich/Hood)
Recommended Action
Waive second reading and adopt an ordinance titled, "An Ordinance of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors adding Article 7 to Chapter 8 of Title 6 to the Yolo County Code to Adopt a Water Conservation Program."
Strategic Plan Goal(s)
Thriving Residents
Sustainable Environment
Flourishing Agriculture
Robust Economy
Reason for Recommended Action/Background
On July 27, 2021, the Board adopted Resolution No. 21-98 proclaiming the existence of a local drought emergency and further adopted Resolution No. 21-99 confirming the authority of the Director of Emergency Services to implement mandatory water restrictions in the Wild Wings County Service Area if necessitated by water supply conditions.  The drought emergency continues and more and more agencies are implementing water conservation measures. 

Water Code section 375 et seq. empowers any public entity that supplies water at retail or wholesale to adopt and enforce a water conservation program to reduce the quantity of such water use by those within its service area after holding a public hearing and making appropriate findings of necessity for the adoption of the conservation program.  As explained in the findings of necessity and purpose set forth in the proposed ordinance, the current drought is impacting domestic wells that serve communities in the unincorporated areas of Yolo County, including within the County Service Areas that provide water service. For example, there are two wells serving the Wild Wings CSA, and as of early Spring 2021, both wells were approximately 18 feet lower than the same time last year.  One of these wells had to be turned off this summer because the pump was no longer stable enough to operate the well and the other well is projected to have 3-4 months remaining to shutoff if the drought continues and groundwater levels do not recover.  California is in its second consecutive year of dry conditions and adoption of a water conservation program is necessary to preserve limited potable water supplies.

The proposed conservation program ordinance is modeled after the template created by the Department of Water Resources to implement a conservation program consistent with Water Code section 375 et seq. and reflects recent updates to similar water conservation programs adopted by urban water suppliers, including the cities of Davis and Woodland.  Because Water Code section 375 is specific to service areas where the County supplies water at retail or wholesale for the benefit of persons within the service area, the proposed conservation program is limited to the following County Service Areas where the County supplies water for residents either directly or via a contract with another water supplier:  El Macero CSA, North Davis Meadows CSA, Willowbank CSA, and Wild Wings CSA. 

The conservation program consists of six drought response levels that implement increasing conservation restrictions with each level. The first drought response level sets permanent water use restrictions, including prohibiting landscape watering between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and use of potable water on outdoor landscaping in a manner that results in more than incidental runoff.  Each stage thereafter has additional water restrictions intended to achieve a needed amount of water savings depending on drought and water supply conditions. For instance, during a Level 3 drought response with a 30% conservation goal, landscape irrigation is limited to no more than two assigned days per week, and during a Level 4 drought response with a 40% conservation goal, filling of pools or water storage tanks with potable water is prohibited. The Board of Supervisors may declare a drought response level by adopting a resolution at a regular or special meeting of the Board of Supervisors. The ordinance also contains enforcement authority, which includes fines up to $1,000 per violation and declares violations to be a public nuisance subject to administrative citations and abatement pursuant to Chapter 5 (Code Enforcement) of Title 1 of the Yolo County Code. The ordinance also allows the County to develop and implement further regulations and procedures for the administration of the ordinance and to impose any additional State or local drought emergency water restrictions. The ordinance, however, allows a customer to apply for a waiver of the requirements due to public health or safety needs.

The Board held a public hearing and introduced the proposed water conservation program ordinance on August 31, 2021. If adopted, the ordinance will become effective immediately pursuant to Water Code section 376.
Collaborations (including Board advisory groups and external partner agencies)
The Office of the County Counsel has collaborated with the Community Services Department and the County Administrator's Office regarding the proposed ordinance, along with other State and federal agencies regarding various aspects of the drought response.

Fiscal Impact
No Fiscal Impact
Fiscal Impact (Expenditure)
Total cost of recommended action:    $  
Amount budgeted for expenditure:    $  
Additional expenditure authority needed:    $  
On-going commitment (annual cost):    $  
Source of Funds for this Expenditure
Att. A. Ordinance No. 1540

Form Review
Inbox Reviewed By Date
Phil Pogledich Phil Pogledich 09/02/2021 10:25 AM
Elisa Sabatini Elisa Sabatini 09/08/2021 12:36 PM
Joanne Van Hoosear Joanne Van Hoosear 09/09/2021 10:03 AM
Elisa Sabatini Elisa Sabatini 09/09/2021 10:13 AM
Form Started By: Kimberly Hood Started On: 09/01/2021 05:38 PM
Final Approval Date: 09/09/2021


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