Water Usage – A Homeowner Perspective

Following is an open email to the SOA Community Manager in response to the Association’s position on water saving ideas. Written by Joe Bower, Sierra Canyon homeowner.


Please let the Somersett Board and Finance Committee members know that I appreciate their looking at my previous email to them regarding water saving.
By copy of this open email to them, please let them know that while they depend on TMWA to “monitor and enforce watering per their set days and schedule” that that is NOT a reason for the Board to fail to execute the power given to it under Section 27 of Article IV of the Somersett CC&R’s which allows the Association to “promulgate use restrictions (e.g. allowed watering days, length of time watering occurs, etc.) on outdoor water use.” 
I believe the Board is failing its fiduciary and civic responsibilities by not promulgating water use restrictions of its own and instead leaving them up to an outside agency. The Board can make a resolution for irrigating members’ lots matching the same set day TMWA schedule. By having its own schedule the Association’s Violation Policy can more easily and quickly and in a more meaningful and effective manner, than can TMWA, bring violating owners into compliance thus encouraging owners’ water saving efforts.
By the Somersett  Board re-directing its attention to water saving on members’ lots, more immediate results can be achieved than “looking at test areas to retrofit the irrigation in the hopes to prevent runoff.” Also, runoff can be addressed at no cost by better scheduling the number of watering times and their length. Needless to say, the best way to prevent runoff is to remove turf from parkway center dividers and sides and put in xeriscape. 
The Boards of sub-associations may have stricter rules than the Somersett master association as long as they are not in conflict nor contradict. Thus I encourage the Sierra Canyon, where I live, Board to swiftly enact a watering day schedule of its own following TMWA’s.
Somersett has been fooling around with mainline irrigation problems for over ten years. Now is the time to stop using a landscape contractor to address these ongoing problems and bring in a company specializing in pipelines and water pressure. 
I well realize the PUD requirements/restrictions for private mow strips.  However, the Board can undertake an effort to have the PUD revised so that it will allow for more flexibility and options to address the needs of owners brought forth by the current and ongoing water shortage (not in existence nor anticipated at the time the PUD was written) and their desires to help ease the shortage by installing landscaping that needs no water at all, i.e. decorative rocks. 
It should be noted that while the Board keeps a stiff back on how to address the current water shortage problem, it fails to enforce its own Aesthetic Guideline “If the front yard is xeriscaped, approved junipers may be planted in the mow strip area,” by allowing junipers to be in mow strips where the front yard is not xeriscaped. Also, there are at least two private mow strips, if not more, currently made up entirely of decorative rocks. One of them being on the same street as a board member!