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Manteca cuts water use 26% in February
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Manteca reduced water use 26 percent during February compared to 2013.
The city is required to cutback water consumption 32 percent from 2013 levels due to the state drought emergency.
Manteca Public Works Director Mark Houghton expects the state sometime in April to possibly ease the cutback mandates.
Strong rain and snow in January as well as this month are expected to paint an improved water storage picture when April 1 arrives.
The date is key in the forecasting of water use through Sept. 30 as snow and reservoir data on that date help federal and state officials determine water deliveries to cities and farms. The Sierra snowpack provides more than 60 percent of the state’s water needs.
But while reservoirs such as Shasta are at 80 percent capacity, those in the central and southern Sierra are trailing considerably.
New Melones Reservoir on the Stanislaus River that is part of the water supply system for the South San Joaquin Irrigation District as well as the cities of Manteca, Lathrop, and Tracy is at 22 percent of capacity.
Regardless of the April 1 forecast, Houghton said the state has agreed to relax Manteca’s mandate somewhat given that it is in a hotter part of California.
The city has also asked for a consideration for growth. Manteca had added more than 3,200 residents in the past three years.
“If you add our growth we really reduced water use by more than 26 percent,” Houghton said.
Manteca’s savings in 2015 during California’s fourth year of severe drought came to 1.47 billion gallons. That reflects a 28.7 percent reduction over 2013 levels despite the city adding 3,200 residents to grow the population base by more than 3 percent during the last three years. Manteca fell short of the mandated goal by 3.3 percent.
Manteca used 178.8 million gallons of water in February of this year compared to 242.6 million in February of 2013.
Bigger savings come in the hotter months when the city has been making significant inroads into reducing waster that is being used to irrigate landscaping.