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Corte Madera, CA                                                                                                         March 2013 
The Inside Source is produced by Marin Municipal Water District to inform local decisionmakers and opinion leaders on issues affecting Marin's water, people and environment.

Features
Grand Jury Report on Fire Risk
New Ethics Policy
Marin-Friendly Garden Tour in May
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MMWD Board of Directors 
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Upcoming Public Meetings
 
Tues., April 2, 7:30 pm
BOARD MEETING 
Board Room 


Tues.,April 16, 7:30 pm
BOARD MEETING 
Board Room  

DRY SPELL CONTINUES; RESERVOIRS STILL ABOVE AVERAGE

The dry period that started with the beginning of the year has continued right through the month of March. Average rainfall for March is 7.39 inches; March 2013 rainfall to date is 0.82 inches. The record low of zero inches of rain for March occurred in 1923.  

 

Our reservoir storage levels are still above average, although the gap is narrowing compared to what it was earlier in the season. 

 

Here are the current water statistics:

  • Reservoir Levels - As of March 24 reservoir storage is 74,869 acre-feet,* or 94 percent of capacity. The average for this date is 72,917 acre-feet, or 92 percent of capacity. Total capacity is 79,566 acre-feet.  
  • Rainfall - Rainfall this year (July 1, 2012 to March 24, 2013) is 36.20 inches. Last year for the same period we had 33.26 inches; average is 45.23 inches.
  • Water Use - Water use for the week ending March 24 averaged 20.6 million gallons per day, compared to 16.4 million gallons per day for the same week last year.    
  • Creek Releases - During the month of February 2013 MMWD released 537 million gallons, or a total of 1,648 acre-feet, into Lagunitas and Walker creeks in west Marin. We release water throughout the year to maintain adequate flows for the fishery per our agreements with the State of California.
Current water use and reservoir figures can be found on the homepage of our website.

 

*One acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.


GRAND JURY REPORT EXAMINES FIRE RISK ON MT. TAMALPAIS WATERSHED

In a new fire risk report released by the Marin County Civil Grand Jury, the grand jury concluded the risk of wildfire on the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed is significant and that MMWD has done a thorough job laying out two alternate approaches to dealing with that risk.

 

While the grand jury has strongly endorsed the approach that allows for limited herbicide use, MMWD is currently going through the environmental review process for the district's Wildfire Protection and Habitat Improvement Plan (WPHIP), which was developed to address fire hazard reduction and biodiversity protection on the 22,000 acres of watershed land managed by MMWD. Drinking water protection is the number one priority of the plan. The WPHIP includes two approaches to weed control: both contain a range of integrated weed control measures; one contains limited use of carefully selected herbicides and the other does not.

 

A draft environmental impact report on the WPHIP will be released this fall for public review and comment.  

 

The WPHIP is available on MMWD's website (click here). The Grand Jury report is available on the County of Marin's website (click here).  


MMWD BOARD ADOPTS EXPANSIVE ETHICS POLICY

The MMWD Board of Directors recently adopted a new, comprehensive ethics policy to guide
articulate how the board conducts business on behalf of district ratepayers. Board members already comply with ethics standards set by the State of California for all elected officials, but they chose to adopt a district policy as well to underscore their commitment to general ethical principles and the underlying basic values of trustworthiness, respect, fairness and responsibility.

The new MMWD policy addresses issues related to the board's conduct in several different business areas, including the open meeting laws established by the Ralph M. Brown Act, constitutional protections related to employment matters, the board's financial and fiduciary responsibilities, the avoidance of conflicts of interest and incompatibility of offices, the prohibition of direct political solicitation of district employees, compensation and even the appearance of impropriety.

Click here to read the policy.


SAVE THE DATE: FREE MARIN-FRIENDLY GARDEN TOUR ON SATURDAY, MAY 18
Whether you are a long-time gardener or a novice, you'll find inspiration Marin-Friendly Garden Tour logoand beauty in MMWD's free, Marin-friendly garden tour on Saturday, May 18. This self-guided tour showcases Marin gardens designed to protect our local environment. It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that these gardens conserve water. They also include a variety of other special features, such as native plant selections, edibles, rainwater catchment, wildlife habitat creation, the use of recycled materials and composting systems.


Admission is free, but advance registration is required to obtain the map and the garden guide, which provides details on each garden and gardening tips.

 

Click here for more information.  


NEW BLOG POSTS
Check out these recent posts from MMWD's blog, Think Blue Marin:
  • This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. When it comes to endangered species, the question "What good is it?" is raised. Vegetation Ecologist Andrea Williams has an answer (click here).  
  • Short on garden space? Think Blue Marin blogger Charlene Burgi offers tips on how to grow vegetables in containers (click here). 
  • March 18-24 "Fix a Leak Week" 2013 may have come and gone, but fixing those pesky, water-wasting leaks is important year round. Click here to find out the most common source of household leaks.  

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
We welcome your comments and need your help raising awareness about water in Marin.  Please share this information with your colleagues and constituents. Thank you!
Libby Pischel, Public Information Officer
Marin Municipal Water District
lpischel@marinwater.org
(415) 945-1421