The mercury may have soared past 100 degrees for multiple days in a row back in June, but Lathrop residents still found a way to meet the 20 percent water reduction mandated by the State of California.
According to numbers recently distributed to the California Department of Water Resources, Lathrop used 136.05 million gallons of water in June – down from 175.08 million gallons of water during the same month in 2013. California uses that year as the backdrop to determine water reduction rates – creating a uniform system which all cities use to monitor their consumption and stay in line with California’s mandatory restrictions.
The 20 percent reduction in June – the hottest month on record so far this year – was the third straight warm month that Lathrop has met the mandatory reduction that was imposed with the worst drought in nearly 40 years slammed California and threatened to run reservoirs dry.
And the above-average rainfall that most of California experienced with the El Nino system that rolled through over the winter wasn’t enough to raise the drought conditions for the entire state just yet.
The biggest reservoirs in Northern California – Lakes Shasta and Oroville – are fuller than they have been in years, but the majority of that water is earmarked as part of the state’s bureaucratic maze of water rights. Local reservoirs like New Melones are still much higher than they were at this point last year, but the Central Valley falls into the portion of California’s map that is still under severe drought conditions – some of which borders on emergency status.
While Lathrop gets the majority of its water from wells, another wet winter is the only thing that can recharge aquifers and provide enough water to replace what is being taken from the ground to satisfy the combination of growing communities and additional farming that is pulling water from the grounder faster than it can possibly go back in.
The issue is of such major importance that Lathrop has joined forces with a consortium of other communities including Manteca and Stockton to discuss how best to manage the aquifer that they all draw water from and stave off an emergency that would leave growers and municipalities without access to clean, safe drinking water.
The numbers reported to the State of California are given every month as part of a monitoring program after California Governor Jerry Brown implemented sweeping restrictions on how water can be used in the state. Both San Joaquin County and the City of Lathrop have followed suit to bring their respective water rationing and conservation ordinances online to meet state standards as a result.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.