Correction: This story originally contained incorrect information on water usage requirements under the Stage III emergency declaration. This story has been changed to reflect the correct information.
The Los Osos Community Services District’s board of trustees declared a Stage III water emergency, banning the use of potable water for any private irrigation except on certain days, at its last meeting on April 2.
Stage III is triggered by rainfall of less than 43 inches over three years; Los Osos has received just 23 inches since April 2012, according to the district.
The district established a water shortage contingency plan in 2014 that identified voluntary and mandatory water use restrictions aimed at addressing shortages because of the drought.
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The plan originally required that, as part of the Stage III emergency, residents would be prohibited from using potable water for watering plants and lawns; previously, watering was limited to two days per week.
On April 2, the CSD trustees amended the Stage III plan. Residents now are allowed to use potable water for private irrigation twice a week between dusk and dawn, with even-numbered addresses allowed to water Wednesday and Sunday and odd-numbered addresses Tuesday and Saturday. Any customers using more than their allocation are subject to penalties of doubled water rates.
The district’s Stage III emergency also requires household water use to not exceed 50 gallons per person per day.
Irrigation for community recreation facilities is exempt from the prohibition, according to the emergency plan.