Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz prepping for mandatory water rationing

New water limits go into effect May 1

Santa Cruz water rationing starts May 1

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - If you live in Santa Cruz, be prepared to start reducing your water use or your wallet could soon feel a little lighter.

The city relies on surface water for its water supply, but the state's ongoing drought has severely threatened this source. The city has ramped up water conservation efforts, and will implement stage 3 water rationing as of May 1.

With only three days left before mandatory water rationing, the Santa Cruz Water Department was busy continuing its efforts to get people to conserve and change some habits.

So what does this mean for city residents?

If you are used to long showers, and watering your garden daily, those luxuries may have to go -- or you will see an increase in your water bill,  according to environmental projects analyst Clara Cartwright.

"A single family home is allotted 10 billing units of water -  that 11th unit, if you go over, that's going to be $2 and then the 12th unit and anything above that is going to be $50," said Cartwright.

Santa Cruz residents have not had to ration water since 1990 and people are taking advantage of the tools the city is handing out. In fact so many water efficient supplies were given away, the water department went over budget twice.

Even as the water district is asking people in Santa Cruz to limit water use to 60 gallons a day, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management district says its users average that when we aren't at drought levels. That's part of the reason the peninsula hasn't forced a water ration yet.

For more tips on how to conserve water, click here.

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