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Manteca area abnormally dry as city water use creeps up
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Manteca is the past 12 years has increased its population by 25 percent while reducing annual water consumption by 14 percent.

But in year to year numbers, 2018 use inched up about 100 million gallons to 4.3 billion gallons.

Water use is still down significantly from 2013 when the state called for a 27 percent reduction in water use during the drought emergency. Manteca was using 5.1 billion gallons of water in 2007 as opposed to 4.3 billion today for a drop of 16 percent despite 9,960 more residents since then.  From 2013 to 2015 when the city used 3.7 billion gallons of waste at the height of the drought, overall water use despite growth dropped 28 percent putting Manteca among a small number of jurisdictions that exceeded water reduction targets set by then Gov. Jerry Brown.

As of Jan. 8, the United States Department of Agriculture indicated 92.23 percent of the state was at least abnormally dry, 75.17 percent was in moderate drought, 14.12 percent in severe drought, and 1.55 percent in extreme drought.

The Mid-Sierra south of Lake Tahoe that supplies the Stanislaus, Merced, and Tuolumne river basins along with the Sothern Sierra are the only areas in the state experiencing normal precipitation. The eastern parts of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties are considered abnormally dry and the western portions being in moderate drought despite recent rain.

Manteca’s water rules

The stricter water rules that were adopted for Manteca residents and businesses 43 months ago and are still in effect are as follows:

No irrigation is allowed during or within 48 hours following measurable rainfall as defined by storms that generate run-off or puddles.

No watering is allowed on Monday or any day between noon and 6 p.m. Watering for even addresses is on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday while odd addresses can water on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

No water will be allowed on any day at any time for washing off sidewalks, driveways, patios, parking lots or other exterior non-landscaped areas without a permit obtained from the Manteca Public Works Department office at the Civic Center.

No water will be allowed to flow into a gutter or other drainage area for longer than 5 minutes. All water leaks or malfunctions in plumbing or irrigation systems must be fixed with 24 hours.

Penalties include a written notice on the first violation, a $100 fine with applicable fees on the second violation that may be waived by attending a water conservation workshop; a $200 fine and applicable fees on the third violation; and $500 fines for each and every subsequent violation plus applicable fees.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email