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Water Shortage and Residential Growth: Letter to Ventura City Council

Mayor and Council Members,

1. There is no integrated plan for managing growth while under current water shortage conditions. The proposed residential allocation program and the permit application delayed filing window would address the City Council's stated concern regarding the types, pace, and scale of new residential development. Ventura Water staff is continuing to implement a water shortage contingency plan, which establishes water reduction strategies for each stage of the current drought. The plan includes a requirement for "net-zero impact" to city water supply for all new development projects in Stage 4 and a building permit moratorium at Stage 6. Pressent policies will continue to permit approval of housing projects while current water conservation efforts do not appear to be near the 25% water reduction goal established by Gov. Brown on April 1, 2015.

2. I urge The Council to integrate both growth management and water management strategies more closely and institute controls on new water hookups earlier than currently proposed.

3. Water demand is outpacing water supply. Primary contribution to decreasing supply is reduction of deliveries from Casitas Municipal Water District due to ongoing drought conditions.

4. Lake Casitas Storage. The average delivery of water to Casitas MWD customers is 16,700 AFY plus an 8,985 AFY Loss from Evaporation & Percolation results in an annual depletion rate of 25,685 AFY. Lake Casitas will be depleted in 5 more years if current depletion rates and drought conditions exist. There is no prediciton of a series of sequential wet years which would be required to significantly increase Lake Casitas storage.

5. Less than normal rainfall can be expected for the next 2 or 3 years or more based on an analysis of 122 years or rainfall data.

6. Even if federal and state permits can be obtained, no water from direct potable reuse is expected before 2025.

Apr 12, 2015 VCSTAR

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