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Ripon water use down 7%

Effort falls short of governor’s 20% target

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POSTED July 29, 2014 1:52 a.m.

It’s been over a month since the City of Ripon implemented a water conservation effort.

The verdict thus far is positive.

“We’ve saved 7 percent in total water consumption from a year ago,” said Public Works Director Ted Johnston on Monday.

That’s short of the 20 percent reduction the governor requested in January when he declared a drought emergency as the state started its third year of severe dry weather.

He didn’t have the actual figures readily available from last month compared to that of June 2013, pointing out that this is the first time that the city has gone with a water conservation plan.

More can be done, Johnston believes.

“We’ll be going back to City Council to make a requirement for stricter standards,” he said.

Included would be the hours in which to water. As it stands right now, residents are prohibiting from watering on Mondays and from noon to 6 p.m. on most other days.

Those living in homes ending with even numbered addresses are allowed to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Residents with odd-numbered home addresses can water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

When hosing off their vehicles, sidewalks or driveway, they must use one with a shut-off valve or nozzle.

As for fines and penalties, public works has allowed for two friendly reminders. After that, first-time violators must fork out $25 when cited during that first year.

The fine doubles to $50 for repeat violators during that same one-year stretch, and $100 as a third-strike penalty and $200 any time after that.

The water-conservation ordinance in Ripon complies with Gov. Jerry Brown’s request calling for “every Californian to conserve water in every way possible” and is in effect through Oct. 1, unless extended by the Council.

“We would like to see the savings increase to 15 to 20 percent,” Johnston said. “But it’s been slow process and we’re just getting started.

“We’d like to get everybody on board – maybe we can get try educating them on how to conserve water?”

For more information, call Ripon City Hall at 209.599.2108 or log on to www.cityofripon.org.

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