Water Officials Urge Conservation as Summer Season Begins

California American Water and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Offer Rebates to Help Save Water

Jun 22, 2010, 13:26 ET from California American Water

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif., June 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As warmer weather and longer and drier days set in, California American Water and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District are asking area water users to be particularly mindful of their water consumption – especially outdoors.

"Water consumption on the Monterey Peninsula generally reaches its peak in July or August," said California American Water General Manager Craig E. Anthony. "But, this is the time of year it typically starts to increase dramatically. We've recently seen water use jump by approximately 1.6 million gallons per day. Most of this is residential and is clearly the result of warmer summer weather. On nice days folks tend to go outdoors and work in their yards, which often includes watering plants and grass."

Under California American Water's rate structure, residential and commercial water users who use more than a modest amount of water for basic indoor and very limited outdoor needs pay higher prices. This system has long been in place on the Monterey Peninsula, and has been largely responsible for lowering residential per capita water consumption to just 70 gallons per person per day, one of the lowest levels in California.  Nevertheless, recent tightening of state imposed water restrictions have led to a doubling of penalties for water wasters.

"We're under orders from the state to decrease pumping from the Carmel River," Anthony said. "The new rates are designed to help us do that and although they went into effect in February, we expect this month – the beginning of irrigation season -  will be the first time our bigger users really start to notice a significant difference on their monthly bills."

California American Water and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District urge customers who do a lot of outdoor watering to consider alternative irrigation and landscaping practices, and they provide incentives to help.

This year, California American Water and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District began offering a rebate for lawn removal and for synthetic turf installation. Water customers that replace lawn with low water use plants or permeable surfaces can receive $1.25 per square-foot, up to 2,000 square feet. Applicants must provide a site-plan of current and planned landscaping and arrange for a before and after inspection by the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District.

Customers interested in synthetic turf installation can qualify for rebates of $2.00 per square-foot, up to 2,000 square-feet.

"The program has been incredibly popular so far," said Monterey Peninsula Water Management District General Manager Darby Fuerst. "Our agency has been working with California American Water to educate the public about our local water restrictions and the need to conserve. We're glad to see people thinking ahead to the impacts excessive outdoor water use can have on the environment and their water bills. An investment today in low-water landscape or rainwater harvesting, can really pay off in the long-run."

Rebates are also offered for installation of cistern tanks. California American Water and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District will pay qualifying water users $25 for every 100 gallons of rainwater storage, up to a maximum of 3,000 gallons per site.

For more information about rebates to remove turf and install synthetic turf or cistern tanks, or rebates for water-saving appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and toilets, contact the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District conservation department at (831) 658-5601 or visit www.montereywaterinfo.org.

California American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 600,000 people.  

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company.  With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

SOURCE California American Water