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Fireworks show canceled due to water emergency

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

Due to the strict water restrictions beginning June 1. the City of Claremont made the decision Wednesday to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks show.

The action was taken following the city council’s adoption of a water conservation ordinance, and the declaration of a water emergency on Tuesday, along with the city’s responsibility to cut its water usage by 20%.

In order for the show to be held safely, thousands of gallons of water must be used to saturate the field around Pomona College’s Strehle track where the fireworks are launched. City staff felt it was unwise to proceed and the city concluded that with just over a month until the show, there was not enough time to find a alternate location.

On Thursday the Independence Day Committee will meet to approve a concert at Memorial Park as an alternate celebration.

“In the days leading up to the aerial fireworks display, the fields at Pomona College are heavily irrigated to mitigate fire danger. The City of Claremont has declared a water supply shortage due to extreme drought conditions and enacted outdoor water restrictions for non-essential uses effective June 1, 2022.,” according to a staff report to the Independence Day Committee. “The city, in consultation with local water supply agencies, is focusing on preserving limited water supplies for human health and fire safety purposes. In light of this recent development, the extensive watering necessary to prepare the fields and firework fallout zone will not be possible.”

During the meeting Tuesday, the council expressed concern that if residents were asked to cut back water usage then the city should take a look at its summer events that use a lot of water, including the Fourth of July fireworks.

Another popular summer feature, the two wading pools, will also be canceled this year.

In response to the years-long drought Golden State Water declared a level 2 water emergency in Claremont, limiting outdoor watering to one day per week and just eight minutes per station. Each ratepayer will be asked to cut back total usage by 20% from a baseline derived from each household’s 2020 usage.

This year’s fireworks show was set to be the first since the pandemic began in March 2020, but now the city will have canceled three in a row.

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