SANTA CLARA (KPIX) — The city of Santa Clara has unveiled a detailed and aggressive blueprint for conserving water during the state’s extreme drought, laying out rules for everyday activities like watering landscaping and washing cars.
“When the water comes out just to warm up for your shower, we’re actually pouring that water into a bucket and using that to water our plants,” said homeowner Denise Gonzales.READ MORE: VIDEO: Wind-Whipped Dixie Fire Ignites Homes In Greenville; Fire Crews 'Going Into Life Threat Mode'
She says in this time of drought, brown is the new green. Gonzales says her family allowed their lawn to brown and die during the last drought and wouldn’t think to water it now.
“We live on a corner lot. It’s a lot of lawn that we let go. There’s just no way that I’m going to use that water,” Gonzales said.
Last month, the Santa Clara Valley Water District declared a drought emergency, urging cities and customers to cut water usage by 15 percent.
The city of Santa Clara’s plan gets specific. The conservation plan limits landscape watering to three days a week with an elaborate system based on even and odd numbered address.
It also bans washing driveways, sidewalks, porches and parking lots with water. Additionally, people are prohibited from washing their cars or boats unless their hose has an automatic shutoff valve. It also requires restaurants to only serve water to customers who request it.READ MORE: PG&E Stock Dip Impacting Fortunes of Past Wildfire Victims
“Now, I’m using a cup just to clean my razor,” says Jaymar Estinos. He says small acts of conservation can add up to big savings — a lesson he wanted to impart to his children.
“Even though I live in an apartment with free water, showing my kids how to conserve water is really important to me,” Estinos said.
No one is spare the city’s water rationing. Golf course are urged to use recycled water if possible or simply let their greens go brown.
“Even now, we’re only watering the greens and the fairways. We don’t water the rough or other places,” says German Alvarez with Pruneridge Gold Course.
While city officials said the initial emphasis will be on educating residents and businesses about the restrictions, but eventually there will be a pivot towards enforcement, including tickets and fines.MORE NEWS: COVID: Case Surge From Delta Variant Leading to Health Care Worker Fatigue
City officials will vote on the plan Tuesday evening.