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

SFID’s Water Leak Credit program…planting Appropriate Trees…the ”D” word…and State DWR Outdoor Irrigation Usage Targets

Water Leak Credit: SFID’s Board voted 3-1 (Dunford opposed; Petree absent) to approve a water leak credit program, to be reviewed by the Board after a year. The leak credit program requires all customers with an AMI meter to first have signed up for the AMI portal AND to have set an appropriate usage threshold to notify you of potential leaks.  

Please note:  A portion of RSF customers are currently having AMI meters installed in Phase V.  The remainder of RSF customers not scheduled to have AMI meters installed in this current phase will have their AMI meters installed in the final Phase VI – most likely spring 2021. The newly adopted Water Leak Credit Program is available to all customers; those currently without AMI meters have different requirements from customers with AMI meters.

  • Go to the SFID website; click on “I want to…”; click on “Pay a Bill”; and click on “Learn if I Qualify for a Leak Credit”.
  • Go to the SFID website; click on “I want to…”; and click on “View My Water Use”, to sign up for the AMI portal.  Follow the instructions carefully – they’re kind of funky. 
  • Once you’ve accessed the Sensus portal, look to the top left corner of the page, and click on the three horizontal lines, next to the SFID emblem.  Click next onto “Usage Details”; click onto 24 hours…then 7days…then 30 days to take a spin around to learn what the portal’s usage bar graphs can reveal about your normal usage.  It is simple to then set usage thresholds that send you an email if usage exceeds your set thresholds.  The threshold can be a daily threshold or a weekly threshold, etc.  It is easy to change the thresholds as you gain more expertise in determining what threshold would be the best signal you’ve got a leak.  No charge for using this portal. 
  • When looking at the bar graphs, you will see your threshold value superimposed over the bar graphs – a very useful feature.  Again, take the portal out for a spin to learn what a fabulous resource it is for you. Note: I had a slow leak in a PVC fitting under pressure, and was able to determine the hour it started and the volume increase over the 9 days until it was repaired.

Planting Appropriate Trees:  UCLA scientists carried out a long-term study that determined California’s iconic Valley Oak trees, quercus lobata, are not well-suited to the higher temperatures we have been experiencing.  The study is a cautionary tale to not only consider water requirements when planting new trees, but also  consider optimum temperature ranges in the tree’s native habitat. Planting a tree is easily a 50+ year investment; research and choose a tree that will be well-suited to California’s changing climate for both water availability and high temperature tolerance.  https://www.pnas.org/content/116/50/25179

“D” word is creeping back: While Southern California was fortunate to have higher than average rainfall totals in November and December, Northern California snow pack is currently 46% of normal, with Northern California having its driest February since 1864.  A high pressure ridge appears to be setting up again, a vexing feature of California’s 2012-2017 drought.

Residential water usage: Nov.’19  309.2 (r-gpcd); Dec.’19  143.8 (r-gpcd); Jan.’20  165.3 (r-gpcd)

Dept. of Water Resources:  Water purveyors throughout California are awaiting DWR’s release of outdoor irrigation usage targets for each agency.  SFID often has the highest residential per capita usage in California, so we are, of course, awaiting DWR’s assessment of our land use patterns, irrigable and irrigated acres, and E.T. ratios contrasting hotter, inland properties versus milder, coastal properties.  Most of you may be familiar with the residential 55 gallons/person/day target for indoor water usage;  DWR will now weigh in on the District’s potable water usage for outdoor irrigation.

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