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Arroyo Grande enacts year- round water conservation

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Though the drought is officially over, one city is ramping up its water conservation program. The Arroyo Grande City Council put the brakes on its citizen’s water use by enacting severe drought restrictions on a permanent basis.

Starting in late May, Arroyo Grande residents won’t be able to use water for cleaning driveways or patios; lawn watering will be restricted to every other day (for even addresses Mondays and Thursdays, odd addresses Tuesdays and Fridays, and free game for everyone on weekends); and emptying and refilling pools will be permitted only “to prevent structural damage and/or to provide for the public health and safety.”

“If we were permanently able to use the amount of water we use now, then we wouldn’t have to go out and find additional water for millions of dollars,” Mayor Pro Tem Jim Guthrie said, explaining the restrictions.

Arroyo Grande currently uses less than 80 percent of its available water. If there is a drought—or if the city grows a bit larger—it will need more water. The city has tried to obtain a larger permanent water supply from Oceano, but was turned down by the Oceano Community Services District Board of Directors. Prying water out of Oceano may take millions of dollars, so restraining water consumption may be the city’s best bet to save money—at least while the economy is faltering.

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