Healdsburg residents are being asked to voluntarily reduce water use.

In response to reduced flows in the Russian River, the Healdsburg City Council on Monday night unanimously agreed to implement "Stage 1" water conservation measures.

Residents and businesses are asked to reduce water consumption by 20 percent below last year.

Healdsburg draws all of its water from wells along the Russian River. The state Water Resources Control Board last month approved minimum in-stream flows in the river as result of scarce rainfall this year.

Under Stage 1, Healdsburg water customers are asked to irrigate outdoors only during evening and early morning hours. Even-numbered addresses can irrigate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Odd addresses are asked to do so on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Customers are asked to refrain from irrigating on Monday.

Utility customers also are asked not to wash their vehicles, trailers and boats, except with a bucket or a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle.

While the first stage of conservation is voluntary, the city also has the option of implementing more aggressive and mandatory Stage 2 and Stage 3 limits.

Outgoing Public Works Director Mike Kirn said depending on what happens this summer, the city may need to go to the next stage.

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