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Manteca leaders discuss drought strategies tonight

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POSTED February 4, 2014 1:56 a.m.

Reducing municipal water pressure is on the list of short-term actions Manteca could consider implementing in response to the statewide drought emergency.

Staff is outlining possible short term alternative actions as well as potential long-term policies during tonight’s 7 p.m. Manteca City Council meeting at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St. It is part of a presentation that will recap current conservation measures, incentives to switch to water efficient toilets and washing machines, water supplies, and historic weather patterns.

Among other possible short-term proposals that could be implemented include:

• enhanced enforcement of existing conservation rules that go into effect March 9.

• lowering water use at city facilities.

• developing voluntary conservation incentives.

• limiting non-potable uses to non-potable water.

• increasing public awareness.

Potential long-term solutions include:

• offering incentives for people to switch to xeriscape landscaping with a proven reputation for being water misers.

• developing a reclaimed water system for all public irrigation use.

• developing additional groundwater supply.

• securing additional long term storage.

• converting turf for alternative uses.

• implementing drought monitoring.

• enhanced groundwater monitoring.

Water use in Manteca has been steadily climbing for the past four years. The 2013 consumption of water was 20.6 percent higher in 2013 than in 2010. Two of those four years are classified as dry or drought years.

Manteca’s existing water conservation program limits the time of day when people can water and assigns water days by odd and even street addresses as well as prohibits the use of open end hoses to wash cars and bans gutter flooding. The program starts every year with the arrival of Daylight Savings Time. It ends with the return to normal time in the fall. This year Daylight Savings Time starts on March 9.

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