Folsom mandates 20 percent cut in water use for residents

Folsom Lake levels are so low that Folsom city officials have mandated that residents reduce their water use by 20 percent.

Folsom City Manager Evert Palmer declared the citywide water warning Monday, the first time since March 2009 that the city has instituted drastic water reductions.

“Folsom Lake, our primary water source, is now at 21 percent capacity, a near-record low,” Palmer said. “This low water level, combined with critically dry weather conditions, necessitates immediate action to conserve water and protect our water supply.”

Under the mandate, the city is instituting restrictions for businesses and residences that limit landscape watering to two days per week. No watering is permitted on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Residents with street numbers that end in an even number can water their lawns on Wednesdays and Sundays. Those with odd-number addresses may water only on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

“During cold winter months, landscapes need very little water, making this an easy time of year to achieve significant water savings,” says Marcus Yasutake, the city’s environmental and water resources director.

Yasutake said in a news release that about 60 percent of the water used by a typical Folsom family is for lawns, plants and trees.

“We’re encouraging residents to turn off sprinklers to conserve water,” said Yasutake. “An added benefit will be significant savings on water bills.”

Washing down streets, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks or buildings is prohibited except for health, sanitation or fire-protection reasons.

The city asks residents to make sure that there is no gutter flooding from landscape watering. Construction sites must get city approval before using water.

For its part, the city is slashing water use in parks and other municipal property.

In neighboring Roseville, city officials are asking residential and commercial water users to reduce irrigation, report water wasters and sign up for assistance in finding leaks or properly setting irrigation timers. For a “Water Wise” assistance visit in Roseville, call (916) 774-5761.