Manteca slashed water use by 31 percent in November just barely missing the state-mandated goal of 32 percent.
“Given the reduced irrigation demand in the fall and winter months we didn’t really expect to see much savings this month,” said Public Works Director Mark Houghton. “I was expecting it to drop off into the low 20s or so. Manteca residents are doing a great job.”
Most of the city’s water consumption goes to irrigating landscaping with the bulk of that going to lawns.
November provided the first clear picture of Manteca’s indoor water use habits since outdoor water use virtually dropped off to nothing due to several storms and colder weather helping most plants and trees to start going dormant.
The drop-off came despite Manteca adding more than 2,100 residents since the base year of 2013 that the state established as the mark for reduced water use as California deals with a fourth consecutive year of severe drought.
Houghton believes the trend in recent years for high efficiency washing machines and low flush toilets accounts for a chunk of the savings in addition to people being diligent about water use whether they are taking a shower, brushing their teeth, or washing dishes.
Houghton said if Manteca can repeat November’s efforts this month it will reflect that solid water conservation habits have taken hold in Manteca households.
“For the year we are sitting at just shy of 29% savings, which I expect is where we will end up,” Houghton noted. “We are continuing increased education and enforcement efforts to squeeze out every bit of waste.”
Houghton noted snow storms and rain need to continue throughout the winter and into early spring to make improvements on the water situation. The Stanislaus River watershed that supplies surface water to Manteca, Lathrop, and Tracy as well as area farms through the South San Joaquin Irrigation District needs to have a 120 percent of normal precipitation this weather year to allow reservoirs to be at the same historic level that were at on Sept. 30.
Manteca used 215 million gallons of water last month.
November marked the fifth straight month Manteca has missed the state imposed goal of reducing water consumption by 32 percent.
Manteca residents reduced water use by 24.6 percent in October compared to 2013 levels.
Overall Manteca’s reduced water use 28.6 percent in September. That follows a 28.4 percent cutback in August. The combined efforts of residents, businesses, the city, and schools reduced waster use by 31 percent in July, 38 percent in June, 34 percent in May, 30 percent in April, 16 percent in March, 23 percent in February, and 16 percent in January.