Even in the month that water usage is supposed to be at its lowest, the City of Lathrop still managed to find a way to curtail the amount that they used when compared to the 2013 statistics that the State of California is using to assess conservation efforts.
According to the most recent numbers for January of 2016, Lathrop dropped its water consumption from 76.75 million gallons in 2013 to only 58.87 million gallons this year – a 23.2 percent reduction since the State of California imposed mandatory restrictions in the wake of the most serious drought in nearly four decades.
While the number didn’t meet the mandated threshold, it did continue with the city’s push – through restrictive watering days, public notification of enhanced changes and actual enforcement – to make a dent in the amount of residential water being used by homeowners as the state manages what some have said could become a legitimate crisis if conditions don’t improve.
And depending on how things progress over the next two months, that dire breaking point could be on the horizon.
According to a snowpack survey conducted by the Department of Water Resources on March 1, California’s overall snowpack is only at 83 percent of normal – a number that is markedly better than what has been seen over the last four dry years but still not the position that many had hoped California would find itself in after the El Nino system brought storms early in the winter season.
Help, however, could be on the way.
By this weekend a storm that could bring as much as five inches of rain – and even more snow at the crucial higher elevations – is expected to roll across Northern California after a prolonged dry period. Certain portions of the Sierra Nevada mountains are expected to get feet of snow and the western portion of the northern half of the state is supposed to get hit the hardest by El Nino-driven storms that will roll through the weekend and into early next week.
The existing restrictions on water usage mandated by the State of California, for the time being, remain in place.
February’s numbers for Lathrop’s water use will be complied over the next week and then submitted to the State of California for consideration and input into a centrally managed database. In January the city issued three warnings to residents who were observed either watering on days that they weren’t supposed to or another violation of the city’s municipal code – which was tightened in response to pressure from the state over the summer after new regulations were adopted.