Tri-Valley water agencies are asking customers to reduce their usage this year by 10% over 2020, after Alameda County was included in an emergency drought declaration issued by the state.

“The Tri-Valley has multiple sources of water supply storage, including its local groundwater supplies [that] allows us to withstand the occasional dry winter,” according to Zone 7 Water Agency general manager Valerie Pryor. “However, after two especially dry years in a row, we cannot rely on storage alone. Since we do not know how long these dry conditions will last, we need to start saving water now so our community will have more water available next year.”

The Zone 7 Water Agency was joined in its request for customers to conserve water by California Water Service, the cities of Livermore and Pleasanton, and the Dublin San Ramon Services District.

In a news release, the agencies said customers have “demonstrated a great ability to respond, adapt, and conserve water” since the drought conditions of 2014-2015. “This past response has encouraged Tri-Valley water agencies that the community will continue to show its commitment to water conservation this year,” the agencies said. 

The agencies said as much as 70% of residential water use is for outdoor landscaping. 

“If you have a yard, this means the most effective way to reduce your total water use is through minimizing outdoor irrigation and only watering between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to reduce evaporation,” according to the agencies. “If you do not have outdoor landscaping, the most efficient way to reduce your water use is by only running your washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load. It is also critical to repair water leaks immediately.”