As a result of the drought and reduced state water deliveries, the city of Santa Maria is now providing customers with 100% groundwater supplies.
The city continues to meet all drinking water standards while on groundwater, but city customers may notice a difference in the water due to the increased hardness and mineral content.
As California experiences a second consecutive dry year, the California Department of Water Resources recently set its state water allocation for the 2021 water year at 5%. Allocations represent the amount of state water that the department will deliver for the year and are set based on several factors, including water in storage, environmental requirements and rain and snowmelt runoff projections. At this time, the state department anticipates it will only be able to deliver 5% of state water supplies.
In a typical month, Santa Maria uses state water to provide approximately 90% of the domestic water supply, with the balance consisting of local groundwater.
The exclusive use of local groundwater will continue through May, and the city anticipates again relying solely on the groundwater basin for November and December. This schedule differs from previous years in which the city typically imported state water throughout the year, except in November when the state water pipeline was being maintained.
The Utilities Department is reminding residents and businesses of the importance of conserving water. The Department is currently participating in the “National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation” throughout the month of April and launching a “Go Green in the Spring” campaign. In addition, the ongoing conservation campaign will be reenergized in May during the nationally recognized “Water Conservation Month.”
For more information about the city’s water conservation programs, visit www.cityofsantamaria.org/waterconservation. For more information about the switch to groundwater, contact the Utilities Department at 805-925-0951 ext. 7270.