Ventura should prepare a three-step plan in case the drought continues to drain the city's dwindling water supply, a citizens advisory group recommended in a report released this week.
The What If It Doesn't Rain In November Committee--a 17-member panel of city officials, civic leaders and businessmen appointed by Mayor Richard Francis--did not provide specific recommendations.
The 15-page report discusses what the city should do immediately to complement its rationing program, what to do in case a "more aggressive and comprehensive" approach to the problem is needed and what measures to take if the water shortage reaches a critical stage.
Initial recommendations include developing a list of plants that use little water, adding water conservation information to water bills and starting a hotel guest information program to encourage conservation.
Emergency steps would include reducing turf areas, allocating reclaimed water and developing a water banking program.
If the water emergency requires a more stringent program, the committee recommends switching from bimonthly to monthly billing, implementing a rebate program for homeowners who switch to drought-resistant landscaping and promoting the commercial use of storm drain runoff water.