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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross , Public Information Officer, (510) 981-7008

East Bay MUD declares water shortage; smart use of water urged

Berkeley, California (Friday, April 27, 2007) - Berkeley residents are being asked to join the City in reducing their use of water, as we head into a summer water shortage.

On Tuesday, the East Bay Municipal Utility District declared a water shortage and encouraged customers to reduce water use until further notice. Although the reservoirs will still be about 80 percent full in October of this year, another winter of low snow pack could lead to mandatory rationing for next year.

“The City always tries to be careful in the use of natural resources,” said City Manager Phil Kamlarz. “But this is a good opportunity to look at our habits and look for new ways to cut our water use. Some parts of some parks may not be as lush as usual, but we know that Berkeley residents will appreciate what we’re trying to do.”

Most of Berkeley’s water use is at parks. Some of the City’s water saving strategies include:

·       Delaying activation of the irrigation systems;

·       Reducing the number of watering days at each park;

·       Controlling park watering system through an irrigation command center that allows for better, centralized control of water;

·       Working with EBMUD to make our irrigation systems more efficient;

·       Converting some park areas from turf to drought-tolerant landscaping, with small amounts of water delivered through a drip system;

·       Building the Gilman Street Sports Fields irrigation systems so they can use reclaimed water once it is available in that area.

 The public pools are another user of City water. They are covered when not in use to save energy, which also helps reduce evaporation, and the showers have automatic shut-off valves.


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