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San Luis Obispo residents may face water rationing - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

San Luis Obispo residents may face water rationing

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San Luis Obispo -  San Luis Obispo residents could face even bigger water cuts in the coming months.

The City of San Luis Obispo is asking each resident to cut water use by 10 gallons per day in June, July and August.

The average person uses 70 gallons a day, according to Ron Munds, City of San Luis Obispo Utilities Manager.

Munds announced at a water forum Thursday night that rationing may be in the cards for San Luis Obispo starting in August if residents and businesses do not cut back significantly this summer.

The state has asked San Luis Obispo to reduce by 12 percent cumulatively, but to meet that goal the City needs everyone to reduce by 17 percent right now.

"We went through this back in the late 80's early 90's and I'm not saying it's easy but what we try to do is make it as fair as possible for all residents and businesses," Munds told KSBY. "But if we have to go to rationing, there is pain in doing that."

The City is on the hook for up to $10,000 a day fines by the state if it does not meet the cuts.

If rationing starts, single family residences of three people or less will get an allocation of water. If a household exceeds its allocation, the residents will face surcharges.

If a household has more than three people, the residents may petition to have a larger water allocation.

Businesses have to cut back too however those allocations will be made on a case by case basis. This is because businesses like restaurants use much more water than an office, for example.

San Luis Obispo has maintained that it has enough water to last six to seven years. However, the latest reports show the water supply has dropped to 3.5 years.

The Utilities Department will present its plan for water rationing to the San Luis Obispo City Council this Tuesday. At that meeting, the Council will consider declaring a state of drought emergency.

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