Monterey Peninsula Water Shortage

The Monterey Peninsula has a water shortage that has the potential to negatively affect our daily routines and cost all of us a great deal of money. While our government officials try to create a new water source, residents must learn to conserve as restrictions tighten. The good news is that Monterey Peninsula residents are already good at conserving water. The bad news is that we’re going to have to get better.

The water shortage can put a strain on landlord-tenant relationships, but if both parties commit to working together, it will help to prevent misunderstandings.

Responsibilities of the Landlord or Property Manager

Property Manager responsibilities - Water Shortage in Monterey PeninsulaThe landlord or property manager must make sure the plumbing to the home and landscape is in working order. Periodically have the plumbing checked for leaks. This can be done by turning off all water inside the home and checking the water meter outside the home. If the meter is running even slightly when it’s not supposed to, you have a leak. Fix it.

Choose drought-tolerant plants for your landscape and keep a close eye on the sprinkler settings to make sure the irrigation system is providing just enough water for the plants to survive. Drip irrigation systems are typically more efficient than sprinklers and watering at night is less wasteful than during the day when the sun and wind work against you. Instruct your gardener to check the timer settings every time he visits the home.

Responsibilities of the Tenant

If you rent a single family home, it’s likely that you will pay the water bill, even if there is landscaping that requires water. This is a normal part of renting a home rather than an apartment, and there is a cost to it. Be sure to let California American Water Company know the number of residents in the dwelling by completing their survey. This will determine your water allocation, which affects your rates. If the number of residents changes, call Cal Am and update the survey.

It’s extremely important that you report leaks in the home or outside as soon as you become aware of the problem. This may seem obvious and not that difficult, but many tenants don’t realize just how much water can be wasted with a slow toilet leak or dripping faucet. If you hear even a small leak in the toilet or detect a dripping faucet, report it to your landlord or property manager immediately. Outside, if the sprinklers are going off too frequently or for too long, don’t try to change the settings or turn it off without first notifying your landlord or property manager. If you turn off the irrigation to the landscaping and the plants die, you could be responsible.

If you receive an unusually high water bill, don’t panic. Notify your landlord or property manager and Cal Am immediately. Cal Am will provide a credit if you submit a request in writing, along with a plumbing invoice that proves that the leak has been repaired.