Water usage at MV?


The sprinklers by the Student Center are found watering the lawn on a rainy day. Although the district controls the water usage at Monte Vista, students can still take action to conserve water during the statewide drought.

Despite last week’s rainfall, the Bay Area is officially in what is considered to be an “exceptional drought” -the worst of the four drought categories. This year’s rainfall totals fall between just 45-55% of normal throughout the Bay Area and the Sierra snowpack is measuring at just 6% of normal.

Water conservation is an important aspect of how to get through the drought, however Monte Vista, as an individual school, has little control any of it’s water usage for things like landscaping.

With over 2,000 students, the school uses a lot of water every day between the pool, watering the grass and the school bathrooms, it is hard to be sure how much is being wasted. Craig Cesco is in charge of managing all of the utilities in the San Ramon Unified School District.

“Overall the district has been cutting back on water use for several years,” Cesco said.  “All new schools use bubblers for trees and some shrubs. Right now the water districts are asking for a 20% reduction in water use, but this is only a request not mandatory.”

The Bay Area will feel the effect of the drought in the upcoming months. The state water project recently cut water supply to millions of Californians, many of whom live in San Ramon, Livermore and Dublin. Even though Danville will not be directly affected, it is still important to conserve water.

“Students can help by not wasting water in the restrooms, locker rooms, drinking fountains and other areas where water is available,” Cesco said.

The district is putting a water conservation program together this year for future years to help reduce water use throughout the district.

“Students will not be affected by the water shortage,” Cesco said. “Cuts will be made for irrigation of lawns and plants to cut water use. Students should notify school staff if they find water leaks around school.”

Many students have noticed these leaks or apparent waste of water throughout campus. It isn’t unusual to see sprinklers watering patches of dirt, sprinklers running on rainy days or to see a long stream of water running through the senior parking lot.

While students and staff may not have much control over the water usage at school, students can conserve water at home by taking shorter showers, washing their car more efficiently and watering their lawns in the morning. Also, students and their families can making the effort to run the dishwasher and washing machine only when the load is a full load.

East Bay Municipal Utility District, also known as EBMUD, is asking residents to cut back water usage by at least 10%. If water keeps being used at the current rate, all of the reservoirs will be less than half full by the beginning of fall.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order on April 25 that asks Californians to voluntarily conserve water amid the statewide drought.

In the order, Brown asks residents and businesses to conserve where they can. He asked hotels and restaurants to only serve customers water on request. The order also includes provisions for farmers and directs the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to monitor wildlife habitat.

“The driest months are still to come in California and extreme drought conditions will get worse,” Brown said in a release. “I call on every city, every community, every Californian to conserve water in every way possible.”