Water News….from the desk of Marlene King, Div. 3 Director


Update from June 18th Board meeting of Santa Fe Irrigation District:

  • District staff reported they will be mailing out, around July 1st, individual notice to each S.F.I.D. customer of their 2013 water usage and their allocation.  Allocations are reflected on bills received after September 1st, since the two-month billing cycle must reflect a full two-month water usage under the allocation formula. (Allocations officially start July 1st.) It is my understanding that this mailing will not be providing customers hypothetical surcharge calculations if your water usage exceeds your allocation.
    • Therefore, please remember S.F.I.D. customers will be billed a surcharge of $3.40/unit for usage over the allocation up to 115%.  Usage above 115% of allocation will be charged a surcharge of $6.79/unit.
  • It came to my attention that Resolution No 15-12, Declaring a Water Shortage Response Level 3 Condition, specified that the only time potable water could be applied outside our homes was between 6pm – 8am on our two assigned days of the week.  I requested that the Board re-evaluate this restriction to permit water be applied without time/day restrictions if applied by hand-held hose with automatic shut-off or bucket/watering can.  A change to the Resolution will require a public hearing, and my understanding is this item will be on the agenda for the July 16th Irrigation Board meeting.  (This issue of permitting convenient hand-watering times will be of particular importance to those of us who have mature trees in the middle of lawn areas.  As we reduce water to lawns, or eliminate water to lawn areas altogether to achieve allocation targets, we need to be mindful to deep water our mature trees which are more susceptible to bugs and disease when drought-stressed.)

Have you had trouble reading your water meter?    Tips:  you will see six numbers:  the four numbers on the left tell you full units; the two numbers on the right display partial percentage of one unit.  Therefore, the numbers 185269 show a reading of 1852 units, with .69 percentage of a single unit.  Remember to be on the lookout for spiders when you remove the meter cover, and having a rag handy will be helpful if you need to clean the dial for easier reading.

“Drought-shaming” via public media:  As you no doubt are aware, S.F.I.D. is a lighting rod for social media to comment on excessive usage, customs of the “1%”, and any number of attitudes about the wealthy and how we should or should not be allowed to spend our money.  We are a gated community that does not permit press to enter; however, please realize that any authorized person – delivery person, vendor, guest – can be a conduit for publishing a photo of a water usage violation, or even photos of properties that are not letting their lawns get a “tan” at a rate deemed suitable by the photographer. 

Recently The Washington Post published an article mentioning Fairbanks Ranch.  Below are two links:  the published article, and the letter I wrote to the G.M. of the Santa Fe Irrigation District expressing several concerns about comments made to the reporter by District staff. 

Note: In case you are not aware of the attitudes circulating in social media about water restrictions, usage, wealth, large properties, etc., etc., etc., the link to The Washington Post article includes the thousands of comments from bloggers.  On the day the article was published, I stopped reading after 564 comments; the next morning I clicked back into the article and the blog comments had increased to 6000.

Questions or assistance:    Marlene King/lot #126       759-1306          marleneliza@cox.net

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