By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Council
As this winter’s record rainfall and snowpack levels are tallied, they add up to significant drought relief for Orange County and all of California.
The recent storms have refilled many of California’s major water supply reservoirs. A number of of the largest reservoirs have now reached or exceeded average levels for this time of year, compared to recent years where reservoir levels were far below historical averages.
Locally, the wet winter brought about 25 inches of rainfall, with 14 inches being the seasonal average. This local rainfall has increased volume in the Orange County groundwater basin, from which the City pumps nearly 80 percent of its water. The groundwater basin benefits from rainwater that is captured and percolates into the basin, and from a reduced need for outdoor water, which helps retain more water in the basin.
The rain and snowfall received in Northern California also helps with local supply. The abundant rain has helped fill the state’s largest reservoirs, including Shasta, Oroville and San Luis. The state is aggressively moving much of that water south into local reservoirs and treatment facilities, in anticipation of a massive amount of additional water from melting snow (the Northern California snowpack is nearly 200 percent of normal). This will help reduce the need for Colorado River water, which remains in limited supply.
On March 24, in response to the state’s record rainfall and snowpack levels, Governor Newsom called for the end of drought declarations and requirements. The Newport Beach City Council will consider lifting the local drought restrictions in the next several weeks.
However, the permanent water use restrictions found in the City’s Municipal Code will remain in effect, including:
- Prohibited landscape watering hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- No excessive runoff
- No washing down of paved surfaces
- Fix leaks within 72 hours
As we move into the warmer summer months we are confident that our residents and business community will continue to use water as efficiently as possible.
Apply Now! Scholarship Applications Due May 1
The City is accepting scholarship applications from college-bound seniors and transfer students by Monday, May 1, at 5 p.m. to earn up to $700 for educational expenses.
The City of Newport Beach Ackerman Scholarship Program was established to assist qualified students in obtaining a higher education. Funds for the program are provided through an endowment from the Ackerman Trust. Scholarships may be used for tuition, books, laboratory and/or academic fees.
This year there will be seven, $700 scholarships awarded.
You must meet both criteria (A) and (B) to apply:
- Be a child residing in Newport Beach OR be a child of a regular, full-time
Newport Beach City Employee.
- Graduate from a high school in 2023 and accepted to attend an accredited
two-year community college or four-year college or university OR transferring from
a two-year community college to an accredited four-year college or university in
Fall 2023; AND have maintained a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or better.
The criteria used for selection includes financial need, scholastic standing, school or
community leadership, school and/or extracurricular activities, and career and life
The deadline to submit your application is Monday, May 1, 2023, by 5 p.m. Apply here: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/human-resources/2023-scholarship-program.
Teens Ages 13-16 Encouraged to Apply for Summer Leadership Program
The City of Newport Beach is offering a Teen Leader Program for teens ages 13-16. The program allows teens the opportunity to work side by side with Recreation Leaders in the City’s two youth summer camps, three ACTIVE Kids after-school programs, and for City special events.
Teens can earn community service credits, get involved in the community, develop and enhance life and work skills, and gain valuable job experience.
For more information or to apply: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/recreation-senior-services/youth-teen-programs.
Balboa Pier Parking Lot Reopens After Temporary Construction Closure
As work continues on the new Junior Lifeguard Building, construction in the area of the main Balboa Pier parking lot is now complete. The parking lot has been restored, striped and is once again available for parking.
The “A” Street Lot remains closed.
City to Repaint Newport Theatre Arts Center
On April 10, the City will begin repainting the Newport Theatre Arts Center at 2501 Cliff Drive.
This is the third of eight citywide locations set for repainting in the coming months. A contractor will prepare the existing surfaces and give the Newport Theatre Arts Center a fresh coat of paint. The work is expected to be completed in early May.
Free Document Shredding, E-Waste Disposal and Compost Distribution April 22
Join us on April 22 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Newport Beach Corporation Yard, 592 Superior Ave., for an Earth Day event brought to you by the City of Newport Beach and CR&R.
The event will feature free document shredding, e-waste disposal, and a compost giveaway. Residents can bring up to 10 standard file boxes of documents for shredding and can receive up to five, 30-lb. bags of compost while supplies last. Please note that residency will be verified, so don’t forget to bring identification.
Our shredder can accommodate most materials including bank and financial statements, credit card statements or pre-approved credit card offers, old IRS tax forms, checks or bills, old credit cards and plastic/paper membership cards, junk mail, and documents bound with staples or paper clips. Please note that x-rays or larger plastic items such as binders cannot be accepted.
Acceptable items for e-waste disposal include computers, computer monitors, keyboards, televisions, flat panels, other monitors, printers, DVD players, cell phones, and other small electronic devices. Medical waste, batteries and other household hazardous waste will not be accepted.
For more information, please contact our Public Works Department at (949) 644-3055.
Serve Your Community! Apply Now for Vacant Seats on Boards, Commissions
The City of Newport Beach is currently accepting applications to fill the following unscheduled vacancy and upcoming scheduled vacancies (all terms are for four years, expiring June 30, 2027, except for one unscheduled City Arts Commission seat expiring June 30, 2025):
- Board of Library Trustees (two seats)
- Building and Fire Board of Appeals (one seat)
- City Arts Commission (two seats – one term is for four years, expiring June 30, 2027; and one unscheduled term expiring June 30, 2025)
- Civil Service Board (one seat)
- Harbor Commission (one seat)
- Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission (two seats)
- Planning Commission (two seats)
All scheduled vacancies will become vacant when the existing terms expire on June 30, 2023, or until the seat is filled.
All applicants must be qualified electors of the City, none of whom shall hold any paid office or employment in City government (Section 702 of the City Charter).
The deadline for filing applications is noon on Wednesday, May 10, or until the vacancies are filled. The application and additional information about the Boards and Commissions can be found at http://www.newportbeachca.gov/vacancy or by calling 949-644-3005.
The application and information about the Boards and Commissions can also be accessed through the City’s website at http://www.newportbeachca.gov/bcc.
For more information, contact the City Clerk’s Office at (949) 644-3005.
Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update
The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.
This week, the Be Well team:
- Transported one person to a crisis stabilization unit for treatment.
- Transported one person to the Be Well sobering station for treatment.
- Assisted two minors experiencing mental health crises.
- Transported one person to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter for an intake appointment.
- Assisted an older adult with a prescription medication substance use disorder. Concerned family members called the Be Well team for resources and treatment options.
- Provided mental health and wellness resources to residents during community outreach.
This week, the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:
- Assisted a client with an intake at the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
- Delivered a bicycle to a client at the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
- Enrolled a new client and facilitated an appointment with a mental health provider.
- Transported a client to a DMV office to obtain a photo ID and ordered him a new debit card. The client is matched to an Emergency Housing Voucher.
- Collaborated with an assisted living facility treating an older adult client to ensure the client was safe and stable. The client is matched to an Emergency Housing Voucher.
- Continued to shelter people. Twenty people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the City’s homeless response: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/monthly-homeless-count.