[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Española 5-18-1999 by Ord. No. 1999-02 (Ch. 98, §§ 98-55.1 through 98-55.11 of the Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter may be cited as the "Emergency Water Regulations Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to provide the City with the means to implement measures for controlling water use in response to water-system-related emergencies or catastrophic events that may disrupt systems operations.
There is established a City of Española water emergency management plan that will apply to all customers of the City's water system.
The governing body, by and through its Public Utilities Department, finds and determines that a water service emergency exists based upon the occurrence of one of more of the following conditions
A general water supply shortage due to increased demand or limited supply.
Distribution or storage facilities of the City water utility are inadequate to meet demand or minimum quality standards.
A disruption of the supply, storage, and distribution facilities of the City water utility occurs.
It is hereby declared that, because of the conditions prevailing in the City of Española, the general welfare requires that the City maximize the beneficial use of its available water resources to the extent to which it is capable, and that the waste or unreasonable use, and the conservation of such water is to be practiced with a view to the reasonable and beneficial use thereof in the interest of the citizens of the City of Española and for the public health, safety and welfare. It is further declared that in times of a water supply shortage emergency, uses of water shall be prioritized as follows:
Human consumption, food preparation, maintaining sufficient pressures to fight fires, bathing, and all uses directly related to assuring public health and sanitation.
Indoor commercial and industrial water use.
Outdoor commercial water use by businesses directly dependent on water to produce the product or service provided, such as but not limited to plant nurseries, construction activities, and car wash facilities.
Residential and commercial outdoor water use.
The City Manager is authorized to determine and declare that a water emergency exists in any and/or all parts of the City of Española and the Counties of Santa Fe and Rio Arriba that are served by the municipal water system and, upon a formal declaration of a water emergency management stage, to utilize such regulations, rules, and conditions relative to the time of using water, the purposes for which it may be used and such other necessary limitations as will, in the City Manager's opinion, relieve the water shortage in any such section or sections of the water service area.
The City Manager, or the City Manager's designee, following public notice, is hereby authorized and directed to implement the water emergency management plan through the applicable provisions of this chapter, upon the City Manager's determination that such implementation is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, under the following conditions:
In the event of a disaster or water emergency such as an earthquake, or other catastrophic event affecting the Española watershed, groundwater supply, or other major disruption in the water supply, the governing body shall formally declare Water Emergency Management Stages 3 and 4, thereby authorizing the implementation plans for Stages 3 and 4 of the emergency provisions of this chapter. Public notice will follow enactment of said provision.
In the event of a foreseeable water emergency, such as extended drought conditions, the governing body shall formally declare Water Emergency Management Stage 2 and the City Manager, or the City Manager's designee, shall be authorized to implement the applicable provisions of this chapter, upon public notice. In the event of a foreseeable yet limited water supply shortage, the City Manager, or the City Manager's designee, shall formally declare Water Emergency Management Stage 1 and shall be authorized to implement the applicable provisions of this chapter
The City Manager, or the City Manager's designee, shall be authorized to rescind or downgrade the water emergency management stage in effect to a lower water emergency management stage.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all persons, customers and property served by the City water utility wherever situated and to all citizens, businesses, and governmental entities within the corporate limits of the City.
No customer of the City of Española water utility shall make, cause, use, or permit the use of water from the City for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, governmental or any other purpose in a manner contrary to any provisions of this chapter, or in an amount in excess of that use permitted by the following water emergency management stages which are in effect pursuant to action taken by the City Manager, or the City Manager's designee, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Unless specifically noted otherwise, all requirements included in a particular water emergency management stage and its corresponding implementation plan shall apply to each and every higher level water emergency management stage or stages. A more stringent requirement in a higher stage shall replace a less stringent requirement in a lower stage.
Stage 1: Voluntary Compliance—Water Watch. Stage 1 applies during periods when the possibility exists that the City of Española water utility will not be able to meet all of the water demands of its customers by up to 15% of the annual demand projection. All elements of Stage 2 shall, during Stage 1, apply on a voluntary basis only. Furthermore, the City of Española water utility shall provide its customers with a mock calculation of Stage 2 surcharge impacts indicating what their water bill would be if the Stage 2 surcharges were in effect.
Stage 2: Mandatory Compliance—Water Alert. Stage 2 applies during periods when the probability exists that the City of Española water utility will not be able to meet from 16% to 35% of the water demands of its customers. The Stage 2 implementation plan is incorporated hereto as Exhibit A. Upon declaration by the governing body and publication of notice, the following water conservation measures shall apply:
Lawn watering and landscape irrigation, including irrigation of golf courses, parks, school grounds, and recreation fields, are permitted only during designated hours on designated days as determined by the water utility in the Stage 2 implementation plan.
Commercial nurseries, commercial sod farms and equivalent establishments approved by the City are exempt from Stage 2 irrigation restrictions but are encouraged to curtail all nonessential water use and to use the recognized conservation practices of the industry.
The washing of automobiles, trucks and trailers, boats, airplanes and other types of mobile equipment is permitted at any time. The City will encourage the use of recycling systems and other conservation techniques available to the commercial car wash industry.
One initial filling shall be allowed for recirculating pools and spas which were empty prior to the declaration of emergency or which are new installations. No draining and refilling shall be allowed for the duration of the emergency except as may be permitted by the City for reasons of health and safety. The filling or refilling of noncirculating swimming pools and spas is prohibited for the duration of the emergency.
Use of water from fire hydrants shall be limited to fire fighting, related activities or other activities necessary to maintain the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens served by the municipal water system. Metered sales from hydrants for construction and landscape irrigation purposes will be allowed.
Water shall not be used to wash down sidewalks, parking areas, tennis courts, patios or other paved areas, except to alleviate immediate fire or sanitation hazards.
Ornamental fountains may operate if they recirculate water but not during windy periods. Ornamental fountains that do not recirculate water are prohibited.
Construction operations receiving water from a construction meter or water truck shall not use water unnecessarily for any purpose other than those required by regulatory agencies. Construction projects requiring water for new landscaping materials are encouraged to adhere to the designated irrigation hours associated with Subsection B(1) of Stage 2. Contractors will be required to use reclaimed water for construction and irrigation purposes if the construction project is located outside the incorporated limits of the City of Española.
All public, semi-public and governmental rest room and shower facilities shall replace the conservation signage required in Section 98-54.5 with a more urgent conservation message, the text of which shall be provided by the City. Entities may use a City-provided sign or develop their own sign.
All hotels, motels, and other lodging facilities shall provide their guests with a water supply shortage/conservation information card at the time of guest registration. Lodging facilities may use a City-generated card or develop their own card using City-provided text, the size of which shall not be smaller than the City-generated card. Furthermore, all lodging facilities shall offer their guests the voluntary option of not having their sheets and towels changed daily for multiple-night stays.
Editor's Note: Exhibit A is included at the end of this chapter.
Stage 3: Mandatory Compliance—Water Warning. Stage 3 applies during periods when the City of Española water utility will not be able to meet from 36% to 50% of the water demands of its customers. The Stage 3 implementation plan is incorporated hereto as Exhibit B. Upon declaration by the governing body and publication of notice, the following water conservation measures shall apply:
Lawn watering and landscape irrigation, including irrigation of golf courses, parks, school grounds, and recreation fields, are permitted only during designated hours on designated days as determined by the water utility in the Stage 3 implementation plan.
The filling or refilling of private swimming pools and spas is prohibited, except when this use is for water supply storage.
The operation of any ornamental fountain or similar structure is prohibited except for short periods of time to prevent damage.
The number of new construction meters shall not exceed the number authorized through approval of the Stage 3 implementation plan by the governing body. Construction projects requiring water from a construction meter or a water truck shall not use water unnecessarily for any purposes other than those required by regulatory agencies. Construction projects requiring water for new landscapes shall adhere to the designated days and times as set forth in the Stage 3 implementation plan. An additional meter(s) beyond that determined in the Stage 3 implementation plan may be allowed under the following conditions:
For projects necessary to protect the public's health, safety, and welfare;
When using exclusively reclaimed water for the project;
When the potential recipient of the meter can demonstrate that no net increase in water use will occur; or
Where the potential recipient of the meter provides a conservation offset. For purposes of this chapter, "conservation offset" means the implementation of proven conservation techniques which, when installed, will result in a reduction equal to demand of the proposed use. A conservation offset may be effected by paying a fee established by the governing body in an amount necessary to cover the cost of implementing such conservation techniques. The fee will be based on the conservation offset required for an equivalent dwelling unit. Such fee shall apply to residential as well as commercial and industrial buildings, and may be adjusted from time to time as determined by the governing body.
Editor's Note: Exhibit B is included at the end of this chapter.
Stage 4: Mandatory Compliance—Water Emergency. Stage 4 applies when a major failure of any supply or distribution facility, whether temporary or permanent, occurs in the water distribution system of the City water utility, upon which supply of water the municipal water system relies. In addition, if these or other factors lead to a probable shortage in excess of 50% of anticipated demand, the Stage 4 implementation plan will be activated. Upon declaration by the governing body and publication of notice, the following measures shall apply except when reclaimed water is used:
All outdoor irrigation of all landscaping and turfed areas is prohibited with the exception of plant materials classified to be rare, exceptionally valuable or essential to the well being of the public at large or rare animals. Grey water may be used to irrigate fruit trees, ground covers and ornamental trees and shrubs. "Grey water" is defined as household wastewater other than toilet and kitchen sink waste.
The washing of automobiles, trucks, trailers, boats, airplanes and other types of mobile equipment is prohibited in residential settings. The use of water by all types of commercial car washes, self-service car washes, or commercial vehicle service stations and not in the immediate interest of the public health, safety and welfare shall be reduced in volume by an amount determined by the Stage 4 implementation plan. Further, such washings are exempt from these regulations where the health, safety and welfare of the public is contingent upon frequent vehicle cleanings, such as refuse collection trucks and vehicles used to transport food and perishables.
The filling, refilling or adding of water to swimming pools, spas, ponds and artificial lakes is prohibited except where this use is storage for a water supply.
All sales of nonreclaimed water outside of the water service area shall be discontinued, with the exception of sales previously approved by the governing body.
No new construction meters will be issued. Construction water shall not be used for earth work or road construction purposes. Construction projects necessary to maintaining the health, safety and welfare of the public are exempt from these regulations.
Except for property for which a building permit has been issued, no new building permit(s) shall be provided, except in the following circumstances:
For projects necessary to protect the public's health, safety, and welfare; or
When using reclaimed water; or
When the recipient of the building permit can demonstrate that no net increase in water use will occur; or
Where the recipient of the building permit provides a conservation offset.
The City water utility shall monitor the projected supply and demand for water by its customers on a daily basis during periods of emergency or drought and shall recommend to the City Manager the extent of the conservation required through the implementation and/or termination of particular conservation stages, to prudently plan and supply water to its customers. Thereafter, the City Manager may order the implementation or termination of the appropriate phase of water conservation in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter. The declaration of any stage shall be made by public announcement and shall be published a minimum of one time for three consecutive days in a daily newspaper of general circulation. The stage designated shall become effective immediately upon announcement.
It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation or association to violate the provisions of this chapter. Violations of these provisions shall be a misdemeanor subject to penalties provided in NMSA 1978 § 3-17-1C. The Public Utilities Department may alternatively seek injunctive relief in the District Court. In addition to any other remedies which the Public Utilities Department may have for the enforcement of this chapter, service of water may be discontinued or appropriately limited to any customer who willfully uses water in violation of any provisions hereof.
Upon such emergency declaration by the governing body, it shall be the duty of the administration to give notice by publishing a notice giving the extent, terms and conditions respecting the use and consumption of water, at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in Española. Upon such declaration and publication of such notice, due and proper notice shall be deemed to have been given to each and every consumer supplied with water by the municipal water system.