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Apr 20

From the desk of Michele McKinney, Director of Community Affairs

Posted on April 20, 2016 at 8:38 AM by Son Bui

Celebrate the environment and water at Earth Night in the Garden

Earth Night in the Garden was born nearly a decade ago, and now it’s just around the corner!

Our commitment to the environment and securing your water supply are the foundations upon which this signature Western event was built.

Several Western team members and I were brainstorming back in 2006 ways to provide you, our customers, a way to embrace the importance of water and how to be efficient in using it. Earth Day, celebrated around the world on April 22, came to mind. And then a light bulb came on – why not give our customers something fun and informative to do to celebrate Earth Day, but at night?!

If you’re not one of the nearly 2,000 people who have joined us annually for Earth Night in the Garden, become one this year. Gather up some friends, your kids or just bring yourself and participate in this free annual festival where you can enjoy arts, crafts, games and demonstrations in the name of water, using it efficiently and protecting our environment.

And the best part…having lady bugs sprinkled into your hands and then releasing them to the wind and sky – Lady Bug Releases happen each hour at Earth Night in the Garden!

Hosted from 3 to 7 p.m. at our Landscapes Southern California Style (SM)
 demonstration garden, Earth Night in the Garden presents a unique opportunity for visitors to see the one-acre garden’s climate-appropriate plants and other related demonstrations. Event participants can also receive updates on the drought, water-efficiency rebates and programs designed to assist in lowering water demand.

The address for the garden is 450 E. Alessandro Blvd., Riverside, 92508. Parking is limited so you may park across the street at the Mission Grove Shopping Center.

Join us this Friday in helping to preserve the environment and understand the role that water plays in the process – and set some lady bugs skyward!

Apr 05

From the desk of Tim Barr, Director of Water Resources

Posted on April 5, 2016 at 10:40 AM by Torrey Webb

Reservoirs Are Near Capacity; Now What?...

Thankfully, El Nino-charged storms came somewhat as expected, at least for Northern California, bolstering the snowpack and filling key reservoirs. However, it’s probably going to be some time before we can return our irrigation timers back to pre-drought schedules.

Why? Well, water supply in California is complicated.

Although many of the larger reservoirs, such as Shasta and Oroville in Northern California (where Western gets much of our water supply), are nearing capacity, the statewide snowpack is just below average for this time of year – 87 percent.

The snowmelt alone makes up for approximately a quarter of the state’s water supply, and we just learned that it’s average this year; not enough supply has been collected to overturn the drought declaration. According to Michael Anderson, who is with the California Department of Water Resources, it would’ve likely taken 150 percent or more of normal rainfall and snowpack to remedy our drought condition in one year.

In late March, the California Department of Water Resources takes the final snowpack measurement, which noted above is at 87 percent. Based on these findings, the Governor and regulators in Sacramento will now determine if the amount is enough to perhaps ease the water-use restrictions associated with the water conservation mandate.

It will be a difficult decision because California is a large state with many different climates, water sources, and water users. And although one season of decent rain will provide valuable water deliveries exceeding last year, it may not be enough to lift water restrictions in Southern California.

In the meantime, we must meet existing drought restrictions imposed by the State Water Resources Control Board. And, we’ll definitely keep you, our customers, and stakeholders informed on upcoming decisions and rulings regarding water conservation and how they will impact all of our water use going forward through 2016.

Please continue to check out this Blog, visit, or look for communications in the mail regarding updates on Western’s water supply and tips on outdoor water-use efficiency.

Mar 21

From the desk of Craig Miller, Deputy General Manager

Posted on March 21, 2016 at 5:44 PM by Torrey Webb

Picture Perfect! Try Our New App to Report Water Waste

Controlling overuse of water is at the epicenter of any region experiencing drought. With future availability and compliance with the Governor’s mandate at stake, we have strived to make reporting water waste as easy as possible.

For economies of scale, Western banded together with a number of other local agencies for the regionwide iEfficient campaign. This campaign included the development of the iEfficient app. Reporting water waste is now as easy as downloading the app to your Apple or Droid platform, snapping a photo and pressing the send button. Using GPS-based technology, the violation will instantly be sent to our team to take action. However, in addition to this relatively easy and fast method to report water waste, customers still have the traditional methods of calling and emailing.

Let us know if you see excessive use of water. We’ll work swiftly to correct it!