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Tracy tightens irrigation rules due to drought
drought pic
Governor Brown's newest emergency drought proclamation prohibits homeowner associations from fining residents who limit their lawn watering. - photo by Photo Contributed

Tracy has moved to limit landscape irrigation systems to three to five minute cycles once a day for three days a week as it implements the third stage of its drought emergency.

The city of 96,000 that relies on groundwater as well as deliveries from the South San Joaquin Irrigation District and Central Valley Project is trying to reduce overall water use by 20 percent to be able to make sure it has adequate supplies in the coming months as the drought is drawing down surface and groundwater supplies.

Tracy, due to the drought, is only getting 25 percent of its annual water allotment from the CVP.

New drought rules are on top of those put in place July 6 when an emergency was declared.

The new rules include:

*limiting individual car washing to soap and bucket use.

*limiting dealerships to washing new and used vehicle inventory on Fridays and prior to delivery.

*pools, spas, and hot tubs must not be filled unless they are fitted with a filter backwash system with 90 percent water recovery.

Prior mandatory drought requirements include limiting irrigation to before 9 a.m. and after 7 p.m. as well as hotels must offer guests the option to opt out of linen service.

By contrast Manteca has no time limits on days when watering is allowed while there is only a six hour window from noon to 6 p.m. when you cannot water. There is no requirement for hotels to have opt out options for guests’ linen service even though Manteca has 500 plus more hotel rooms.

Tracy’s year round water conservation rules are also more muscular. Tracy requires non-permeable floating devices or covers that provide 90 percent surface coverage on swimming pools spas and hot tubs. Manteca does not. Tracy also prohibits irrigating landscaping on windy days. Manteca does not.

Manteca has also not declared a drought emergency even though it shares the same water basin with Tracy that is in extreme drought. All of California north of the Tehachapi Mountains has been encompassed in a drought emergency declaration by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
City landscape watering is also being limited to three days per week at Tracy parks, facilities and medians not equipped with water-saving smart irrigation controllers.  The City of Tracy is also working strategically to conserve water by improving interdepartmental coordination, identifying ways to operate more efficiently, implementing a variety of landscape improvements and renovations, and limiting water use at public facilities where non-recirculating systems exist by taking most park water features and splash pads offline for the season.  Only the Lincoln Park (East St. and Eaton Ave.) and McDonald Park (55 N. Central Ave.) splash pads are in operation between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Joe Wilson Pool will also remain open and available for public use by appointment, call (209) 831-6230 to schedule a time to swim.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email