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Hillsborough News Updates

Press Release


Community Center Activities
2014 Environmental Faire

Saturday, April 26th from 9am to 1pm
1600 Floribunda Avenue


California is in an Official Drought

Drought Conditions

California is in a drought. On January 17, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency (http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18368). As part of the declaration, he called upon local urban water suppliers and municipalities to implement their water shortage contingency plans.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Request for a 10% Reduction in Water Use

The Town of Hillsborough purchases its water from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC).  On January 28, 2014, as part of its water shortage contingency plan, the SFPUC called for a 10% reduction in water use. On January 31, 2014, the Town of Hillsborough distributed this request to its residents. The SFPUC will continue to assess its water supply and drought conditions to determine what additional actions will need to be taken, if any. Additional actions could include a call for mandatory rationing.

Water Conservation

The Town is recommending that residents take immediate action to conserve water. Water conservation now means more water in SFPUC reservoirs later. It is important to note that the Town’s water rationing ordinance (Chapter 13.16.040) is based on a formula that does not consider historical water use. That means that no benefit will be gained later by increasing water use now. Hillsborough’s municipal code can be found at: http://www.hillsborough.net/depts/clerk/municipal_code.asp.

Town of Hillsborough Water Conservation Tips

There are many steps Hillsborough’s residents can take to reduce water use. Following are some of the steps Hillsborough considers most effective.


Over two-thirds of all water use in Hillsborough is for outdoor water use. Small steps to conserve daily outdoor water use can result in big water savings.

Create a Water Wise Landscape

A great way to use less water is to create a water-wise landscape. You do not need to convert your entire landscape in one-fell-swoop. Small steps go a long way! There are a number of guides that provide tips on how to create a water-wise landscape. One great resource is the Bay Friendly Landscaping Guide. Another is BAWSCA’s Water Wise Gardening Website. A landscape professional trained in water conservation can also help. The Irrigation Association has a searchable database of trained water conserving landscape professionals, as does the Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) website.

Adjust Your Winter Irrigation

During the winter, plant growth slows while precipitation increases. Property owners sometimes forget to adjust their irrigation accordingly. This often results in overwatering and poor plant health. Hillsborough recommends that you adjust your irrigation controller and install a rain shut off gauge to reduce winter irrigation. Rain shut off gauges can be purchased at most local hardware or irrigation supply store and are fairly easy to install. An experienced irrigation professional can also help you select and install a rain shut off gauge.

Request Your Water Use Report

During the summer, plant growth increases while precipitation decreases. Landscapes require more water, but often too much water is applied. Hillsborough provides free Water Use Reports to its residents to help them gauge and adjust their water use. Hillsborough residents can send an email to the Town requesting a Water Use Report. The email should contain the following information:

Hillsborough Address
Water Bill Account Number
Telephone Number

Please state “Water Use Report Request” in the Subject Line of the email pw@hillsborough.net.  Residents may also call 650-375-7444.

Maintain Your Irrigation System Annually

Irrigation systems develop leaks over time. Sprinkler heads fall out of adjustment and irrigation lines can be inadvertently cut or broken. Irrigation leaks and poorly applied water can add up to surprisingly large amounts of water loss over time. Property owners should adjust their irrigation system and inspect for leaks at least once a year. Inexperienced owners may benefit from consulting with an experienced irrigation professional to do so.

Buy a Smart Irrigation Controller

Is your current irrigation controller a bit of a dinosaur? Consider replacing it with a “smart” irrigation controller. “Smart” controllers vary in sophistication, but in general they monitor actual weather and site conditions to help adjust the amount of irrigation applied to landscape.  More information about irrigation controllers is available at your local hardware store or through your landscape contractor.

Cover Your Pool

Pool covers prevent water from evaporating during non-use and can also save lives. Consult a local pool supply company or professional to learn more.


Reducing indoor water can also result in big water savings.

Buy Water Efficient Fixtures

Many older homes have inefficient fixtures and appliances. Water faucets and showerheads are relatively inexpensive to replace, can result in big water savings and are readily available at local hardware and plumbing supply stores.

Replace Inefficient Water Using Appliances

Replacing your old, inefficient washing machine or dishwasher is another great way to save water and energy. The Town offers a limited number of washing machine rebates to its residents each year. Also, be sure your efficient clothes or dishwasher is full before you run it!

Leak Check Your Toilet

Leaking toilets are a notorious and silent water waster. The following website offers tips on how to determine if you have a leaking toilet. LINK. Alternatively, you may want to consider replacing your old, inefficient toilet with a new, high-efficiency toilet. Your local hardware or plumbing supply store will offer a wide range of reasonably priced, highly-efficient toilets to choose from.

Shorten Your Shower

A long, hot shower is a great way to start the day. It is also, unfortunately, a big source of indoor water and energy loss. The average shower uses 2.5 gallon/minute. Shower timers are a great way to help you and your family members shorten up the shower. So are low-flow shower heads. You can purchase both on-line or at most local hardware, plumbing and bath supply stores.


Check out these helpful water conservation websites:

Environmental Protection Agency Water Sense Product Web-Guide



The Town of Hillsborough 1600 Floribunda Avenue, Hillsborough, CA 94010 (650) 375-7400
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