SMWD Directors Approve 10 Percent Reduction in Water Use Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) Directors on Friday, June 17, 2016, approved a continuation of Stage 2 restrictions in the SMWD Water Conservation Program Ordinance calling for a 10 percent reduction in water use between now and February 2017. “Santa Margarita Water District is committed to water conservation and efficient use,” said SMWD Board President, Charley Wilson. “The drought is not over, so we’re asking customers to continue their conservation efforts,” he said. In April of 2015, the State declared emergency drought regulations and established mandatory conservation standards for water agencies through May 2016. Over the period, the District and its customers were able to meet and exceed the State’s conservation standard and reduce demand by approximately 24.3%. In May of this year, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a new statewide water conservation approach that provides a more comprehensive water demand and supply program administered at the local level. This new approach will be in effect through January 2017, while permanent regulations are considered. Under the new approach, water agencies must ensure a three-year supply assuming three additional dry years similar to ones experienced from 2012 to 2015. The average demand of 2013 and 2014 will be compared to the supplies available at the end of a dry three-year period. If supplies at the end year three exceed demand, then an agency can certify that it has 100% supply and a 0% conservation standard. Where an agency expects a supply shortfall at the end of year three, their mandatory conservation would be the percentage their supplies are short demand. Santa Margarita Water District is committed to helping customers use water efficiently, and create and enjoy beautiful landscapes that accentuate their lifestyle and enrich our community. The District offers classes on landscape design and outdoor efficiency, rebate programs, and web resources, like OCplants.org, to create a custom watering schedule for your landscape. Santa Margarita Water District is the second-largest in Orange County, serving more than 155,000 people in Coto de Caza, Ladera, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Mission Viejo and portions of Mission Viejo and San Clemente.