Sunday, May 28, 2023

Fort Bragg Residents Use Less Water This Month Than Any August on Record


The following is a press release issued by the City of Fort Bragg:

The City Council declared a Stage 3 Water Emergency at its regularly scheduled meeting on August 9, 2021. A Stage 3 Water Emergency targets a 20-30% decrease in seasonal water use based on the most recent year in which water conservation measures were not required (2019 is our base year). A complete listing of Stage 3 Water Conservation Restrictions are
available on the City’s website.

On behalf of the City Council and City Administration, I would like to commend our residents, businesses and other public partners for their combined efforts in conserving water during this drought. If the current average daily production for August holds until the end of the month, August 2021 will be the lowest amount of water produced and consumed in August by the City’s water system for any year on record (note: we have production records back to 1980). We are on trend to use 18.7 million gallons of water this month, which would be 30.5% lower than August of 2019. This means we should exceed our 20-30% Stage 3 conservation target! The previous record low for August was 22.31 million gallons in August of 2016.

August was a tough month for the City’s water supply. We had 15 days with tides at or higher than 6.0 ft. When the tides reach 6 ft during low flow periods on the Noyo, it interferes with the City’s ability to pull water from Noyo River because the salinity content is too high for our treatment process. In August, the City had to subsidize and dilute the Noyo water by pulling
water from the Summers Lane Reservoir. We used 1.4 million gallons of stored water. Total water storage capacity is 22.6 million gallons. The good news is that we have 9 days between high tide cycles and should be able to restore water storage to 100% before September 3, when the next 17 day cycle of high tides starts.

The Desalination-Reverse Osmosis Treatment System is now scheduled to be online the third week in September. The Groundwater Treatment Equipment to allow the City to use the Fort Bragg Unified School District’s irrigation well water for potable water should arrive toward the end of September. Mendocino County, the City of Ukiah and Fort Bragg anticipate that within a week or so, water hauling from Ukiah to Fort Bragg should allow Fort Bragg to restore water sales to the water haulers providing potable water to the Mendocino Coast.

A hearty thank you to all the local efforts to conserve!

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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