City lifts water restrictions after wet winter

SAN JOSE — It may be little consolation after a winter so wet that it flooded homes along Coyote Creek, but city leaders say residents are now free to water their lawns any day they like.

The City Council this week declared an end to a nearly three year citywide water shortage caused by a five-year drought — remember that? That means the 20-percent restriction on water use in San Jose is no more, and there are no longer any restrictions on the days residents may water their lawns or landscapes.

“All our water supply components are above average,” said Jeff Provenzano, deputy director of environmental services.

Or, as Councilman Don Rocha put it: “Water slides are back in business.”

But before you hook up the Slip ‘N Slide and buy a box of water balloons, city and state officials want you to know they don’t welcome water waste.

Residents still must abide by San Jose’s regular water-use restrictions, which remain in place at all times. They include:

  • No outdoor irrigation between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. without the use of a bucket, handheld container, or hose with a shutoff nozzle.
  • Anyone washing a vehicle must use a hose with a shutoff nozzle.
  • Broken or leaking water pipes, irrigation systems, and faucets must be fixed within five working days.

“Our entire community has done a terrific job saving water for the past three years,” Environmental Services Director Kerrie Romanow said. “State and local water supplies have now been restored to the point where we can declare an end to the shortage. I urge all our residents to continue following water-efficiency practices, however. This shortage may be over, but saving water must continue to be a way of life for everyone.”

Gov. Brown declared a statewide emergency on Jan. 17, 2014 in response to the drought and directed state agencies to carry out a water-conservation campaign that called on Californians to reduce their consumption by 20 percent.

On July 16, 2014, the State Water Resources…

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