By Michael Raffety
Mountain Democrat, 2-26-14
The El Dorado Irrigation District will get extra credit for using recycled water in meeting the state’s requirement to reduce water consumption 20 percent by 2020.
Legislation passed in 2009 set that 20 percent by 2020 rule.
EID is meeting that goal in part by using as its baseline the daily per capita water use in the 10-year period of 1997-2006. It did that because recycled water supply was less than 10 percent of its total supply in 2008. Out of the four methods offered by the state Department of Water Resources, EID chose Method No. 1 that calculated 80 percent of the base daily per capita use.
That baseline per capita use was 281 gallons per capital daily. That method, along with the baseline calculation mentioned above, was accepted by the state in 2012 after EID submitted its 2010 Urban Water Management Plan.
So how are the district and its customers doing? Currently they are using a little above 240 gallons daily per capita. That is below the 2015 goal of 253 gpcd, but above the 2020 target of 225 gpcd.
The trend has been downward. EID’s 10-year average gallons per capita daily is 277, the five-year average is 254 and the three-year average is 242.
Those figures will trend lower if EID succeeds in getting the state Water Quality Control Board to reduce the amount of recycled water EID is required to send down Deer Creek from 1 million gallons per day to 500,000 gallons per day. That extra half million gallons per day then can be sent into the recycled water system instead of supplementing it with potable water during the summer irrigation season. The more new recycled water customers EID hooks up in El Dorado Hills, the lower its per capita consumption becomes incrementally.