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Efforts to inform residents of drought plan
Public meetings scheduled for March

Clarkdale town officials will be hosting a series of open house meetings in March to help residents understand the drought and water shortage preparedness plan that was adopted on Nov. 14, 2006.

The plan will be implemented May 1.

It was adopted in efforts to help reduce water usage and promote conservation. The Cottonwood City Council adopted a mirrored plan shortly before Clarkdale's plan was approved. The Arizona Department of Water Resources requires that the plans be completed and submitted by Jan. 1, 2008.

According to the public works department, "Our goal is to educate the community about the provisions of the plan so that customers understand their water use responsibilities during times of drought, water shortage, and high water usage. We are approaching this through a process which includes public and employee education, community signage, and school and business owner education."

Public meetings will be held on March 1 and March 6. A separate meeting for business owners will be held March 12.

The drought and water shortage preparedness plan lays out various water resource status levels and coinciding demand reduction strategies.

For example, when demand exceeds safe production, there will be reduction strategies put in place to force people to better conserve water.

All municipal water users must comply with the demand reduction strategies.

According to the plan, when the city declares Resource Status Level I, utility users will have to reduce water use in a number of ways including watering plants only on specific days and during specific times. Hotels and restaurants will be restricted from giving customers water or washing their towels and linens unless requested.

This will go into effect when demand exceeds safe production for five consecutive days. These measures will also permanently be in place during May through September.

As the water levels increase, stricter conservation requirements will be implemented.

If the water situation entered into a crisis level, all outdoor watering would be halted, no new connection permits would be issued and permitted connections would not be activated.

A surcharge will be assessed for those who violate the demand reduction strategies. These charges will double for every repeat violation.

The city will monitor supply and demand and will inform the public of specific measure to be taken by issuing press releases, posting on the city's Web site and putting up signage around the city.

Cottonwood Utilities Director Dan Lueder said the plan is not just a list of fines and rules, it is an educational tool to help people understand conservation and how to participate in it.

The Drought & Water Shortage Preparedness Plan is available to view on the Town's Web site at www.clarkdale.az.us. The link is located on the home page. For more information, contact the Clarkdale Public Works Department at 649-3538.

Community meeting schedule:

March 1

*2 p.m. at the Clarkdale Babtist Church 1051 W. Arizona 89A

*6 p.m. Yavapai College Room M-137

March 6

*6 p.m. Clark Memorial Clubhouse Men's Lounge

Special meeting for business owners:

*March 12 at 6 p.m. in the Men's Lounge.

Provisions of the plan:

Demand Reduction Strategy I

(In response to when demand exceeds safe production capability for five consecutive days. Regardless, during May through September, the below measures would have to be followed.)

Mandatory measures to be taken include:

*Landscaping must only include plant materials that require little or no supplemental irrigation water.

* "Outdoor water usage shall not occur between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Watering days shall be coordinated with your address." Even addresses can use water on certain days, odds on others. No irrigation will be allowed on Mondays.

*Car washing requires a bucket and hose with shutoff nozzle.

*No misting devices.

*Restaurants can only serve water upon request.

*Hotels wash customers' linens only upon request.

*Reclaimed wastewater must be used for construction projects and dust control.

Violation surcharge - $25 (Will double for every repeat violation)

Demand Reduction Strategy II

(Imposed to reduce demand of water "to a level where safe production capability exceeds water demand for 10 consecutive days.")

Mandatory measures to be taken include:

*All Demand Reduction Strategy I measures.

*Paved surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks and tennis courts cannot be washed with water.

*"No new landscaping for commercial projects shall be installed."

Violation surcharge - $50 (Will double for every repeat violation)

Demand Reduction Strategy III

("The goal of strategy III is to reduce water demand to a level deemed necessary to recover from the loss of supply due to a temporary or permanent failure of any major supply or distribution facility in the water distribution system, or to increase water in storage to a point where fire protection for the town (city) in not impaired.")

Mandatory measures to be taken include:

*All Demand Reduction Strategy I and II measures.

*"No potable water shall be used for outdoor purposes.

*New connection permits will not be issued.

*"No potable water may be used in violation of any other restriction deemed necessary be the Clarkdale Town Council (Cottonwood City Council) for the purpose of protecting the welfare of the citizens."

Violation surcharge - $100 (Will double for every repeat violation)

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