VENTURA ( — Ventura Water customers will be called upon to voluntarily reduce water reduction as much as 10 percent, city officials said Wednesday.

The Ventura City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to support Ventura Water’s call for voluntary water use reduction with their local water sources at extremely low capacity.

“We’re asking our customers to voluntarily reduce their usage,” Shana Epstein, the general manager of Ventura Water, said. “If everyone can do their part, then hopefully it will stay off mandatory conservation.”

Ventura, which does not rely on the state for water, relies on the Ventura River and Lake Casitas. With 2014 being the third year of dry conditions and an abnormally dry winter, Ventura Water officials say the water level of the Ventura River is very low and continues to drop and Lake Casitas is at 60 percent and could drop to 50 percent by the end of the summer without more rain.

If Lake Casitas drops to 50 percent, the water district says it will issue water allocations.

“In an allocation situation, we expect that the city council would declare a water shortage emergency and enact more stringent conservation measures,” Epstein said in a blog post.

Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state drought emergency. The state is in the midst of one of its driest winters on record after two dry years that have depleted reservoirs, and Brown has called on residents to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent.

Ventura Water says the easiest ways to reduce water use is to fix indoor and outdoor leaks and reduce the time lawns are watered.


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