November might have been the first month where most people stopped watering their lawn – even before California’s drought reworked the way that most of us view water.
But that didn’t stop the residents of Lathrop from using 25 percent less water during the month than they did in 2013 – the baseline month being used by the State Water Resources Control Board mandated to compare current water usage against in order to determine the percentage of water saved.
Lathrop, which routinely exceeded the 25 percent mandate set by the state, used 72.53 million gallons of water in November compared to 97.08 million gallons of water in November of 2013. That percentage decrease in in line with the city’s dedicate to curtail water usage across the board, but marks an even bigger amount of savings when the lack of home irrigation is coupled into the mix.
The city also consumed 94.87 million gallons of water for commercial and agricultural uses last month.
Currently Lathrop has mandatory water restrictions on the books that curtail outside watering to only two days a week. The council adopted stiffer penalties for those who are caught to be violating the restrictions – a concession that was made on behalf of the city at the state water board’s request.
And water could end up being something that all Lathrop residents are paying attention to if a plan by the state water board were to be approved as proposed – upping the percentage of required unimpeded flows and raising the threshold for water salinity in the lower San Joaquin Delta.
The majority of Lathrop’s water comes from a series of underground wells, and the city’s ability to serve the growing community is linked directly to the quality of the water that is being pumped. While Lathrop has a portion of the South San Joaquin Irrigation District’s surface treatment plant project, the ability for that plant to expand to accommodate cities that haven’t already begun taking their allotment is in jeopardy according to SSJID who claims that as much as $67 million worth of the project could vanish in the amount of surface water available were to be affected at the rates that are being discussed.
While the city uses door hangers as reminders of those who are violating the water ordinance as a first reminder – offering follow-up visits and warnings before a citation issued – there were none distributed during November for violators.