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Santa Cruz deemed too efficient for further water cut-backs

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SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)-- The City of Santa Cruz has announced that they will be exempt from new state-wide emergency water use restrictions.

“Despite a mostly dry winter and spring, storms in October and December significantly improved storage in Loch Lomond Reservoir. While many reservoirs across the state are well below 50% capacity – some as low as 25% - Santa Cruz’s reservoir sits at 90% full,” said Water Director Rosemary Menard. “That means even if we have another dry year, if we continue to be good stewards of our water resources and use our supply efficiently, we have enough to get us through next year.”

READ MORE: Irrigation restrictions now in effect for Salinas and King City

On Tuesday the State Water Resources Control Board approved the implementation of the Stage 2 Water Shortage Contingency Plan after the third year of severe drought in California. The idea behind implementing Stage 2 is to reduce the demand for water.

“I’m proud that Santa Cruz’s ongoing commitment to using water efficiently has been recognized by the state, and has resulted in an exemption from what would have placed significantly greater hardship on our city than most. Our community just needs to keep doing what we’ve come to do naturally – which is to respect our water resources and use them wisely,” said Menard.

Santa Cruz uses only local sources and has already met and outperformed the state's target gallons per capita per day reduction and has enough water for the next two years.

READ MORE: San Benito County mandating water restrictions

Santa Cruz will still have its own strategies to help with the drought. This includes a ban on watering non-functional turf in commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors, and a ban on any outdoor watering between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Santa Cruz must also impose a state rule and limit landscape irrigation to no more than two days per week. 

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23

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