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Manteca disbands water conservation committee; keeps rules in place

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POSTED July 13, 2017 1:01 a.m.

Manteca City Council has made it clear: Not wasting tax dollars is just as important as not wasting money.
The council elected not to turn the 15-member citizens’ water conservation committee into a standing city advisory board in a bid to avoid spending at least $8,000 a year needed to support and staff four meetings.
Council members had high praise for the efforts of the group that helped cobble together effective strategies that reduced water consumption in Manteca by 28 percent in 2016 compared to 2013 water usage levels. But with rules in place, staff dedicated to overseeing water conservation on a daily basis and the city looking to maintain and expand programs aimed at reducing water consumption it was felt spending at least $8,000 a year to keep the committee intact would not be a wise use of tax dollar.
The city has $196,000 budgeted for the next 11½ months to implement various water conservation efforts.
The money includes:
u$100,000 for converting lawns to low-water use landscaping.
u$60,000 for plumbing fixture rebates.
u$10,000 for school outreach program.
u$15,000 for annual notice and information printing.
u$10,000 for promotional items.
u$1,500 for advertising in the parks and recreation guide.
The council has repeatedly emphasized that due to pressures on groundwater and surface supplies plus the valley’s arid climate and the unpredictable cycle of droughts that water conservation has to be the new norm.

Manteca’s water rules
The stricter water rules that were adopted for Manteca residents and businesses two years ago months are as follows:
uNo irrigation is allowed during or within 48 hours following measurable rainfall as defined by storms that generate run-off or puddles.
uNo watering is allowed on Monday or any day between noon and 6 p.m. Watering for even addresses is on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday while odd addresses can water on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
uNo water will be allowed on any day at any time for washing off sidewalks, driveways, patios, parking lots or other exterior non-landscaped areas without a permit obtained from the Manteca Public Works Department office at the Civic Center.
uNo water will be allowed to flow into a gutter or other drainage area for longer than 5 minutes. All water leaks or malfunctions in plumbing or irrigation systems must be fixed with 24 hours.
Penalties include a written notice on the first violation, a $100 fine with applicable fees on the second violation that may be waived by attending a water conservation workshop; a $200 fine and applicable fees on the third violation; and $500 fines for each and every subsequent application plus applicable fees.

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