The City of Turlock has implemented new, stricter water restrictions on Turlock households, per California Governor Jerry Brown’s executive order mandating water cuts across the state.
During the Turlock City Council meeting on Tuesday night, Mayor Gary Soiseth issued a proclamation implementing stage three of the City of Turlock’s Emergency Water Shortage Plan.
“As you all know, we are entering into our fourth year of drought and it’s with a heavy heart that I make this next proclamation, but I think it’s the right thing to do and I think that our city will rise to the occasion and meet the standards set forth by our Governor,” said Soiseth.
Per the Governor’s executive order, which mandates 25 percent cuts in water usage across California, the City of Turlock will be one of several cities required to cut water usage by 35 percent.
Residents have been making large strides to cut water usage, with current water usage levels being comparable to 1998-99 levels, when the population was approximately 20,000 less, according to Municipal Services Director Michael Cooke, however tightening water regulations will be required to meet the 35 percent reduction.
“Turlock residents and businesses have done an excellent job conserving water over the past seven years, however it is imperative that we do more,” said Cooke.
To further reduce water usage, the City of Turlock has implemented a two-day watering schedule — down from three days. Odd numbered households can water their lawn on Wednesdays and Sundays, with even numbered households on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
There will be no watering on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays and no watering between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays and between noon and midnight on weekends.
“Not only does this reduce the number of days you may water, but reduces the number of hours you can water,” said Cooke.
To enforce the new regulations, the City of Turlock will look to hire some part-time staff, but will mostly depend on complaints filed with the City. Residents can report water waste at the City of Turlock website.
The City of Turlock will however be focusing more on education, rather than enforcement. Residents can expect an ad to come in their May utility bill.
Cooke offered several tips for local residents to conserve even more water, including capturing shower water while it is heating up to water plants, only running full loads in the dishwasher or clothes washing machine, and not hosing down your driveway or sidewalk — which is prohibited in the City of Turlock with prior permission.
“I really hope that the drought brings out the best in our community and that Turlock leads the way in water conservation and responsible water use throughout the summer,” said Cooke.
In addition to local households cutting back on water, the mandate will also require the City of Turlock to cut back on water in local parks and City green spaces. The City will water medians using water trucks with non-potable, or non-drinking, water and some local parks that use potable water will be drying up.
“This is an effort that is going to be in coordination with not only the residents of Turlock, but also the City of Turlock itself, California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock Unified School District, all the big water users, Turlock Irrigation District and it’s an urban and rural issue so we’ll all going to be working together to conserve to get that 35 percent goal,” said Soiseth.