Faced with a dwindling water supply in the middle of an unusually dry winter, the City Council this week voted to spend more than $72,000 to install water-saving plumbing fixtures in homes built before 1982.
Under the program, up to 8,000 homes could receive plumbing designed to help the city reduce water consumption by about 245,000 gallons per day, said Greg Morehead, utilities manager.
However, the $72,000 would only pay for installation costs for 2,000 of the homes. The remaining 6,000 homes would receive free kits containing water-efficient shower heads, toilet tank water reducers, faucet flow-restrictors and instructions on how to install each item. A hot-line number would be provided for those who have questions, Morehead said.
The project calls for the city's Neighborhood Watch block committees to distribute the water-saving kits and follow up on the voluntary installations. Homes built since 1982 are required by state law to include these water-saving devices.
Metropolitan Water District, which provides imported water to San Clemente's Tri-Cities Water District, is contributing $145,000 to the project.
In addition, the council approved budgeting $16,155 in 1991 to hire a water conservation coordinator, who would oversee the plumbing program and provide statistics to the MWD. The position would be phased out by September, 1992, Morehead said.
San Clemente was faced with a severe water shortage in 1989 when the Tri-Cities Water District reservoir dipped to less than half of its normal water level. Since then, city officials have taken an aggressive stance on water conservation, Morehead said.