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Drought

City of Calistoga water consumption down as conservation campaign ramps up

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Calistoga water conservation

The City of Calistoga's Water Conservation Technician Mitchell Egert is responsible for the banner strung across Lincoln Avenue reminding residents and visitors alike to conserve water in Calistoga.

The good news is the City of Calistoga has continued to reduce its water usage, but more could still be done by residents and businesses to conserve during the ongoing drought.

In August, the city saw a 22% reduction in water use compared to the same time last year, and in September usage was down by 18%, said Mitchell Egert, the city’s water conservation specialist.

“It’s not the steep decrease we hoped to see, but we are certainly happy with those results,” he said. “It’s pretty consistent with other water agencies we’ve been talking to, and compared to the rest of the state we’re doing pretty good.”

Due to ongoing drought conditions, all water customers have been asked to conserve water under Calistoga Stage II Water Emergency Regulations effected in May.

The state as a whole had the driest July since 1977, and recent data shows the drought situation to the point where “It’s as bad as it gets,” Egert said.

The city has recently seen an uptick in visitors, and with harvest in full swing the commercial side of water use has slightly increased.

Kimball Dam is at 100-acre feet, or 37% full, and in August Egert said that the city is set to consume 750 acre-feet of water by the end of 2021; an acre-foot is a little smaller than a football field and about one foot deep. About 70% of water is consumed by residents, and 30% is used by commercial entities like hotels and restaurants.

Community outreach by the city is continuing to get the word out to conserve. Conservation kits are still available in English and Spanish at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and at Public Works, 414 Washington St.

The city is also reaching out to the Latino community at the major apartment complexes and at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church.

“We’re really hoping to capture the Latino community and are developing an outreach strategy for the visitor community in the future,” Egert said.

Calistoga's Water Conservation Technician Mitchell Egert shares valuable water- saving advice.

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You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at 942-4035 or csweeney@weeklycalistogan.com.

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