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Lathrop water use up over 2016 but down from 2013

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POSTED September 21, 2017 1:37 a.m.

Even in the midst of one of the hottest months of the year, Lathrop residents are still managing to save water compared to the 2013 usage that was established as the pre-drought baseline to gauge conservation across the state.
Although the savings are not quite as extensive as they once were.
According to the numbers that the City of Lathrop presented to the California Water Resources Control Board that summarized water usage for the month of August, Lathrop residents used 169.71 million gallons of water compared to 176.71 million gallons during the same month in 2013 – a year that has been used as the baseline to determine water savings that were mandated until extensive rain and snowfall led to a replenishment of the reservoirs that serve the majority of the state.
But cities like Lathrop still have to report water conservation numbers to the State of California, and the 4 percent margin shows that while residents have returned to using water more freely during the hot summer months, usage still has not returned to pre-drought levels.
Earlier this year California Governor Jerry Brown ended the state of emergency caused by the extensive California drought and lifted the most extensive restrictions in all but four counties that are facing a widespread problem of diminished groundwater capacity. Some restrictions remain in place throughout the state including watering before or immediately after rainfall, hosing off sidewalks and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.
While it hasn’t taken place yet, the state is planning on voting to make wasteful water practices – like hosing off sidewalks and watering before or after rainfall – a permanent part of the state’s plan to try and conserve as much of the precious resource as possible. By making conservation a “way of life” in the country’s most populous state, regulators hope to prevent another extensive drought that literally dried up drinking water in some parts of the state and forced others to take drastic measures to secure other permanent means of keeping the taps running.
New Melones Reservoir – which had dropped to dangerously low levels last year and exposed some segments of the Stanislaus River that hadn’t been seen for decades – is currently holding more than 2.02 million acre feet of water as the fall season approaches. The largest reservoir in Central California, New Melones can hold 2.4 million acre feet of water and feeds the Stanislaus River.
Don Pedro Reservoir – which feeds the Tuolumne River and flows into the San Joaquin River above the Stanislaus and feeds water past Manteca and through Lathrop into the San Joaquin River Delta – is currently holding 1.71 million acre feet of water with a capacity of just over 2 million acre feet.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email jcampbell@mantecabulletin.com or call 209.249.3544.

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