On the heels of a significant California water policy change, the City Council voted to ease Patterson’s water restrictions and conservation standards during its July 19 meeting.

The city of Patterson appears to be taking a more cautious approach in lightening its mandatory cutbacks than the State Water Resources Control Board’s near about-face, with many water reduction measures remaining in place.

The state water board voted to adjust their emergency conservation regulations in May to allow water agencies to propose their own water use reductions based on local supply conditions. Under the state’s new self-certification system, Patterson went from a mandatory 25 percent reduction in water use (already down from 28 percent) to a 0 percent standard.

This being the case, the city remaining in Stage II of its drought contingency plan is no longer appropriate, said Maria Encinas, public works management analyst and water resources manager, who presented to the City Council staff’s recommendation to move down to Stage I. The move received unanimous approval from the City Council.

With three more years of expected drought, the city is taking precautions in reducing cutbacks, instating a mandatory 10 percent water conservation standard despite the 0 percent required by the state. Runoff water in gutters and streets and the washing of the outside of a building with a hose remain prohibited, and local restaurants can still only serve water upon request.

“We still have to be careful to not overuse our water supply,” Encinas said, citing the existing drought conditions within the Delta-Mendota Subbasin and the state.

But as summer temperatures continue to rise into the 100s, locals can find relief in the eased water restrictions. On June 1, the day the state policy change went into effect, the city announced on its website that the splash pad in Blue Fiesta Park has been turned back on.

Outdoor watering has increased from two days a week to three, with no watering allowed on Mondays. Odd-numbered addresses can water outside Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Even-numbered addresses can water Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Councilmember Deborah Novelli congratulated staff and the city on their water conservation efforts. From June 2015 to February 2016, the city saved 333.5 million gallons of water compared to that same period in 2013.

“This is a collaborative effort,” she said just before the City Council voted on decreasing water restrictions. “This takes the citizens of Patterson reducing their water usage.”

Below is a full list of city water reduction measures still in place:

– Repairs to a broken or defective water system must occur within five days of being notified by the city.

– Use of water which results in runoff in gutters or streets is prohibited.

– Use of water through a hose without a shutoff nozzle is prohibited.

– Use of water through a hose for washing building exteriors is prohibited. (A variance may be issued for health and sanitary reasons.)

– There shall be no outdoor water use between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

– Odd-numbered addresses may use water outdoors on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

– Even-numbered addresses may use water outdoors on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

– Use of potable water to wash down driveways and sidewalks is prohibited.

– Use of water for outdoor landscaping during and within 48 hours of measurable rainfall is prohibited.

– The serving of water other than upon request in eating and drinking establishments is prohibited.

Nathan Duckworth: 892-6187 ext. 307, nathan@pattersonirrigator.com.

PI editor

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