Turlock Residents Conserve Water in 2014, Further Restrictions Might Be Coming

Brandon McMillan/TurlockCityNews.com

Residents of the City of Turlock took big steps to reduce water usage in 2014, dropping usage down to levels comparable to the 1990s. However, some changes may be on the horizon to conserve more in 2015.

According to Municipal Services Director for the City of Turlock Michael Cooke, about 6 billion gallons of water was used in 2014. That amount is about the same used in 1998-98, when the population of Turlock was about 50,000.

“Turlock citizens and businesses are doing a great job, but there’s always more that they can do,” said Cooke. "We hope to work with them this year to set even a higher standard."

The City of Turlock also kept up with state averages, according to Cooke, who said 140 gallons per person per day was the state average and Turlock was right on that average.

A decade ago, the average resident used more than 300 gallons per day, more than double used in 2014.

Despite the positive cutback efforts from Turlock residents in 2014, Cooke hopes to implement some changes to the water ordinance to help conserve even more.

Currently, the City of Turlock has a year-round watering schedule, where residents can water their lawn three times per week, no matter the time of year. Cooke is proposing the City limit water in the winter to one time per week.

Coinciding with watering, Cooke’s proposals change water wasting enforcement from two warnings before a resident is fined to only one warning before being issued a fine.

However, Cooke also recommended that a resident’s first fine be waived if they attend a water education workshop.

Another change to the water ordinance recommended by Cooke is that the water conservation stages be changed from five different stages to four.

“As you probably know, we have three years of drought and we’re probably going to have a fourth year of drought,” said Cooke. “So we feel like this is the responsible way to manage our groundwater resources in the region."

None of Cooke’s proposals have been made at this time, but the discussion of groundwater will continue on Feb. 3 when Turlock City Council hosts a special meeting to discuss groundwater resources and other utilities.

The special meeting will take place Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Yosemite Room of City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.

Comments 12

  1. guest says:

    The impact weas citizens have on the groundwater is minuscule compared to the impact from irrigating the common cash crop of almonds that are shipped to china. With TID pumping 90000 acre feet and countless wells to the east of us, our problems will get worse. 1 acre foot is around 326,000 gallons.

  2. You must be a dip (*edited tcn) says:

    If it wasn’t for ag in this community you wouldn’t be living here sitting on your fat ass. YOU ARE TOTALLY BRAIN DEAD. If you owned a funeral parlor, nobody would die!

  3. Guest says:

    The U.S. consumes over 4 times the almonds of China and is the largest consumer of almonds world wide. What would you suggest we do to produce any kind of crop without water? I love when people start making statements about water and Ag and then close their laptop and head down to the grocery store.

  4. guest says:

    Our valleys agriculture is very important, your ignorance to the facts speaks for itself. Good day

  5. Dan says:

    If you complain about farmers, don’t talk with your mouth full!

  6. here's a thought says:

    If they really want to see water conservation then they will honor and discount customers water bills. It’s very simple if you go over the amount you pay more but what if you stay way under you are still paying the same fee theirs no compensation your getting sold x amount of water but being told try not to use very much of it and if caught using it then you gonna pay a fine. There needs to be a different strategie and way to deal with this

  7. A Concerned Citizen says:

    Bloblah FARMERS! Grahbgoobsh AGRICULTURE! Ngrdvrnaah TURLOCK!

  8. Dan, WE are not eating all of the almonds says:

    enough is enough, TID electric customers have been subsidizing ag water rates since the dawn of time. It needs and will stop. The argument is about the greed of some farmers. There is no need to plant on the east side of our county, which was used for grazing. It’s about greed and how the TID board made up of farmers, only protect their own interests. We need new districts and general year elections. NOW!

  9. I'm tired of helping out the "poor" farmers says:

    TID ratepayers have been paying for cheap water rates for agriculture, this must be stopped. We need to sue TID, to have the board separate the electric costs vs. water costs, people will be shocked. We need an honest board of directors.

  10. Why are TID board meeting at 9 am on Tuesdays says:

    Will anyone actually do a story about this or does the LCR have to attend one of their meetings or go to their taxpayer paid for luncheons and ask for the TID board meetings to be held at night. They are worse than daMarto at the Turlock school district.

  11. guest says:

    Farmers are not the problem, that was not my original comment. The hills to the east of us pumping 10’s of thousands of acre feet for what used to be grazing land has been turned into an investment at the cost of our drinking water supply. Once a well is in, there is no end to how much water they pump. As long as they pay the electric bill, pump away while our domestic wells are slowly drying up. Agriculture is how I earn a living, don’t distort my comment as if I hate it. I want to see it preserved as well as our ground water.
    Signed,
    Far from brain dead

  12. East side farmer says:

    Don’t blame the East side farmers. We have every right to water our land and we do not have irrigation canals to do it. We have to pump. Sorry we did not buy our land in the TID. But the underground water is everyones. According to our geologist there is plenty of water underground. The real problem are farmers like Roger Smith just East of Turlock. When he turns his pump on the groundwater goes down and domestic wells go dry.

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