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East Bay Water District Officials Recommend Voluntary Conservation, Despite Drought

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A sprinkler waters a lawn in the Bay Area. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A sprinkler waters a lawn in the Bay Area. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

HollyQuan20100908_KCBS_0017r Holly Quan
Holly was born and raised in Oakland and she graduated from San...
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OAKLAND (KCBS) – Customers in the East Bay’s largest water district are about to get a break on summer water bills, despite the need to conserve due to the statewide drought.

Officials with the East Bay Municipal Utility District have recommended to continue asking residents to reduce their water use by 10 percent, without mandatory water rationing.

Abby Figueroa with East Bay MUD said the water district also plans to use an emergency supply of Sacramento River water for its 1.3 million customers.

“Because of the additional supplies that are available to us, we don’t have to ask customers to make really harsh cutbacks like they had in past years,” she said.

Figueroa said this is the first time they have had to buy extra supplies to get through the summer.

“The water will cost about $8 million to purchase and deliver to the East Bay,” Figueroa said. “But this time, because of savings in the budget, East Bay MUD will be able to absorb the $8 million in costs, and not have to pass them on to the ratepayers this summer.”

Since February, customers in Contra Costa and Alameda counties cut back on their water usage by 11 percent.

The water district’s board is expected to meet next month, where it is expected to finalize its drought plan.

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