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The Rancho Murieta Community Services District board of directors will address drought concerns at its meeting Wednesday. The board will receive a drought planning update and discuss the possibility of implementing tiered pricing and mandatory water conservation.

Water management consultant Lisa Maddaus will make a presentation on drought conditions with the recommendation that the CSD take immediate action to conserve existing water supplies and implement provisions of its water shortage contingency plan.

To date,  the dry winter weather has resulted in a rise in water use, with higher than expected use in November and an increase of 100,000 gallons per day in December.

The board will also take action on seven items related to a water water treatment plant and hear from Sacramento County and Amador County officials about a proposal for the state to relinquish control of about 10 miles of Highway 16.

The open session begins at 5 p.m. The meeting agenda and packet are available here.

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

Over the years, water

Over the years, water conservation has been talked about many times.  While trying to find a post I had made, I came across these older forum postings on the subject (see below). 

But I'd also like to hear from long-time residents who went through mandatory rationing...like Jacque Villa and Myrna Solomon as I know they had told me years ago what they went thru and all the landscaping that had to die due to the drought.

Oct. 2007


April 2008


Jan. 2009


From the Jan. 2009 forum posting, I found my comment.  I still think this is a great idea.

My thought was there may be many residents that don't have a clue how to use their sprinkler timer. Of course there are probably many who don't even know their systems are working other than they have a green lawn. With that reminder notice, I would like to see RMA/CSD offer for someone to come out and assist any homeowner who does not know how to work their timer. Although, that time spent by an employee is going to cost...so a fair flat rate of $15 to $30(?) to come out and make that adjustment seems fair.

Oct. 2010


Jacque Villa's picture
Joined: 07/11/2009
Posts: 539
Post rating: 701

Water Conservation

Yes Beth, we have been through water conservation in Rancho as well as other towns we lived in. We had to use washing water to water our plants, do the dishes once a day....and other conservation tricks......then.....we would drive through the community and see water running down the street from the median or peoples sprinklers!!!! 

You are correct in that there are folks that do not know how to set their automatic sprinkler systems and won't call someone to come out and teach them....I'm sure Martha could tell you that since she walks early in the morning and see's them going anytime!!!!  Perhaps we should start taking down address' and calling CSD so they can put a notice on their doors........

This drought is a serious issue and we ALL need to learn to conserve the water now......


Todd Coulter's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 74
Post rating: 80


It seems odd to me that we are approving expanded water distribution by everyone paying for the water plant update and yet in the same meeting we are talking about slashing water use.

I will bet money now this whole water treatment plant move will come back and bite everyone, well not everyone, only the community that is paying for the thing.

Just doesn't seem like a smart move in my opinion.

My two cents




Myrna Solomon's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 427
Post rating: 745

Sprinklers and grass

I have spoken to Mark Parson more than once and questioned his decision to allow people to use grass when they relandscape their yards,  which uses huge amounts of water, and instead require people to plant draught resistent plants and use a drip system instead. In my walks around this community, I have witnessed water flowing from a lawn being watered, and rushing down the street. I did write down the address, called CSD when I got home, and I was told basically that all they could do is send them a letter because they had no requirement that would force these people to change their watering times. As we get to March with very little rain/snow, (lets hope this doesn't happen), lets hope that there will be a consequence for those who don't change their sprinkler timers, because in my opinion, when people waste water, it affects all of us...our water is precious to all of us, and money can't make up for a lack of water in our reserviors. 

I also find it interesing that our water concerns didn't seem to be a problem when Sullivan asked for and got water use for his hotel...There have been many people in our community warning the Board for years  that if there was another draught, we couldn't afford to be giving water away unless we had access to another source of water besides the Cosumnes River. I would like to know what Sullivan's Hotel is going to do if restictions are put in place. Will they have the same restrictions as the rest of us?? I find it hard to believe that if some of us have been concerned about the prospect of another draught, why Ed Crouse and the Board hadn't considered it as well, and come up with a plan a long time ago, not now, after you allow a 100 room Hotel to get our precious water....this is just backwards to me.  

Myrna Solomon

Wilbur Haines's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 474
Post rating: 470

I hope they do it, as a reality check

The preposterous assertion by CSD that we have adequate storage  to double the number of toilets and showers drawing on our reservoirs  is premised upon an official assumption of radical water savings under such constraints in drought years.  Consumption reductions which NO WATER DISTRICT ON THE PLANET HAS EVER ACHIEVED.   Reductions which the man who was in the room when they were adopted told our CSD committee were just made up by the lawyers, not water experts, to make it come out to the number of hookups they desired.So I hope they adopt very strict restrictions such as they claim would make that totally fsabricated water math add up.  Then we can look at the numbers and have a FACT based discussion of what savings can REALISTICALLY be expected from strict conservation rules, and accordingly what number of hookups can REALLY be supported by our finite reservoir storage.  I invite my neighbors to drive out to what's left of Lake Calero and view the mud where once there was water, and then imagine what it would look like if we had twice the rooftops as CSD and the developers insist we must have to satisfy THEIR balance sheets.

Jerry Pasek's picture
Joined: 12/13/2007
Posts: 135
Post rating: 191


One must keep in mind that nearly 70% of water use goes for outside irrigation and that is usually where considerable savings can occur....if one has any clue as to what they could do. Waste is a big part of it (essentially over watering) as well as broken or maladjusted systems. It is also true that if excessive water use is made expensive, then one takes note and tries to adjust/comply. I survived the San Jose 1976 -77 drought and remember using buckets to capture shower water and using wash water to irrigate the plants I wanted to save. Some plants/grass are not worth saving "at all costs" so selection must be made. Dishwashers are also inefficient compared to hand washing and especially so if the load is not full. If there is a will, there probably is a way, especially  if it becomes a pocket book issue.

Jerry Pasek

Bill Duncan's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 38
Post rating: 48

CSD has changed...for the worse..

Nice try Jerry.  Your answer seems  to be repeating the company line that we should feel some pain so we will conserve water.  That really isn't the answer. Yes, we might have a water shortage this year, but it will not be a problem if new developers pay their fair share.

Over the years, I always thought the elected board of directors and managment of CSD were my good neighbors and worked to protect me and other ratepayers.  I no longer feel that way.  The current board of directors seems like just another..."bunch of politicians"...The only director who seems to speak up for the community is Mike Martel.

Everyone else on the board and the CSD managment seems to support the sweetheart deals to developers and increased cost to the long time ratepayers. I think it is time for more transparency and a return to advocacy for the core community and making new builders pay their own bills in full. 



Janet Bach's picture
Joined: 02/27/2013
Posts: 35
Post rating: 31

water conservation..

How will it be during the upcoming spring and summer months when water spray trucks descend on the hotel site? We are in a drought... the soil/site will be very dry. To keep the construction dust down, how much of our water will be wasted keeping it damp? I wonder.

Jan Bach

Todd Coulter's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 74
Post rating: 80

Good Ol' Boy's Deal

This whole process to me seems fishy and here is why I beleive so:

1. The developer's right hand man was hired by CSD to build the solution, meaning he can heavily influence pricing, vendors, contractors etc., without anyone really knowing the real cost. This makes it easy to influence vendor selection again to the developer's network and play with the actual costs. The loyalty to the developer is easy to figure out here too. (Advantage Developer)

2. Since the Developer is telling his right hand man what to do all actions will be focused around eliminating all hard cash outlays for the developers, which I understand but its a sweetheart way to have the community risk their cash and fund his project without much risk or concern of loss.. Why lose his money when he can use the CSD board to shift risk and cash outlay to the community.  (Advantage Developer)

3. CSD decides it is suddenly necessary to upgrade the water plant and then decides to absorb all the cost and risk of doing so. Their excuse of getting notes from developers is BS, the hard loss and risk of cash outlay and payment is coming from CSD. I have to ask why the sudden change of heart and why create this burning bridge while going heavily into debt to build a solution that simply isn't necessary today. It begs the question of how the current water treatment plant is hurting this community today? In my opinion nothing has been lost whatsoever so the focus is on who gains, again only one entity. (Advantage Developer) 

To me it is a backroom deal strictly between a compicit board and developer using the community as the bankroll. I would love to see one day exactly how much actual cash had to leave the hands of the developer versus the monthly extraction of resident cash, which is a hard loss. 

Also the fact no bids were taken is wrong too, who knows the actual costs since other companies are not saying they can do it for a cheaper price or provide something better. The entire process has been contained within a few very select people. Totally against the fiduary responsibility of the board in my opinion.

I think it all is concocted just like a good ol' boys back room deal doing favors for their own benefit. For the first time ever it appears to me that collusion exists between the board and developer that needs to be looked at very closely. It's a bad deal and only will get worse for those footing the bill, which in this case is the community (Advantage Developer).


My two cents...


Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

Who is...

Ok, I'm totally in the dark on this one...Todd who is the Developer's right hand man that CSD hired?  If you don't want to name names, can you post a link where I can read it.

Thanks :-)

Janet Nicholson's picture
Joined: 10/28/2007
Posts: 236
Post rating: 380

Thank you, Todd

I don't want to accuse anyone of anything, and I don't think the entire CSD Board is complicit in this activity or even in agreement with it.  However, I will say that the odor surrounding the whole deal has been somewhat akin to the odor of the rendering plant wafting over Anatolia.

Did you know that some buyers at Anatolia who questioned the impact of the smell were told the rendering plant was moving - even though the plant had never said that?  Well, shame on the buyers for not being more careful before making such a big investment.

The same is true here.  If it smells like a rendering plant, it probably is a rendering plant.  If it smells underhanded, it probably is underhanded.

The deals being made may be totally on the up and up, but it's darned hard to tell.  Regardless of open CSD meetings, this has not felt the least bit transparent.  It has felt very behind closed doors and then under the table even behind the doors.  I agree that handing over the project management for the water treatment plant to the developer's contractor who is also the contractor doing all the grading of land and the building of the hotel that needs the water sounds like a clear conflict of interest to me.  And how you could do it without a competitive bid is beyond me.  There are plenty of firms who could have bid on the water treatment plant project management.

Again, I'm not accusing anyone of anything.  Just saying that things don't smell right.  And I want to be clear, I don't believe Ed Crouse has done anything but follow his employer's direction.  Or I should say the direction of some of his employers.

The CSD Board and Sullivan can say that documents are available for us to view, but first, we shouldn't have to come and dig through documents to find out what CSD should be sharing with us, and second, they are only the documents that came from the closed door discussions. Where we ended up is important, but by what means did we get there is equally important.

We should all remember these activities next time the CSD Board members come up for re-election.

And, Jerry, get a grip in reality.  Nice job taking a quote right off the nightly news a few days ago.  I have no control over the water that is sprayed on the plants outside my townhome - RMA has control over the timer box.  There are two of us who live here and we run the dishwasher approximately 1 time per week.  I'll use more water doing dishes by hand everyday than my dishwasher uses. 

I don't care what you did in San Jose in 1976.  Making things more expensive is not a solution.  Those who don't care about conserving are also not going to care about their water bill being higher.  We went through it here in 1976, too.  The only people you'll hurt by raising water bills (as if you haven't done it every year since I've been here) are the ones that are already struggling financially.  And once you raise the costs, I firmly do not believe that we'd see them go back down even if we got 40" of rain in the next 3 months.

Being punative isn't going to provide more water.

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