The Manteca City Council has made it clear water conservation is here to stay.
And to advise elected officials on the best way to step up efforts to make sure water is used wisely, four appointments could be made Tuesday to get the Water Conservation Citizens Committee back up to full strength.
Three members — Sandra Ahrens, Mary Hildebrand, and Al Moncado — have resigned. A fourth — Bill Van Ryn — vacated his position by missing three unexcused meetings in a row.
At least one of the three members that resigned was critical that the council didn’t adopt more aggressive measures to conserve water that the committee had recommended.
Mayor Steve DeBrum and council members Richard Silverman, Vince Hernandez, and Mike Morowit each had one of their two original appointees vacate their positions. If the four individual elected members don’t appoint replacements at Tuesday’s 7 p.m., City Council meeting taking place at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St, they may direct the city clerk to open up the recruitment process to solicit applicants.
The six remaining members are Bob Busser, Eric Teberg, Norm Hauser, Ron Light, Steve Mills, and Anil Singh.
Members must be a city resident with a Manteca mailing address.
The Committee is advisory in nature and was created to provide various viewpoints on a multitude of water conservation topics such as:
uMake recommendations, follow through and provide input on Rebate Program Priorities, Educational Priorities, and Water Waste Enforcement.
uMake recommendations and advise the City Council concerning solutions to specific problems involving water conservation and other issues as requested by the City Council, City staff, and members of the Water Conservation Citizens Committee.
Look at ways to better prepare for future droughts, as well as anticipating the steps that will be necessary to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act as those plans are developed.
The committee in August 2015 made a series of recommendations to the council of which a number were put in place. They included increasing the maximum rebate for the city’s lawn-to-garden program from $500 to $650 and bumping up the dual-flush of high-efficiency low-flow toilet rate from $50 to $75.
After reviewing the state-mandated Sustainable Groundwater Management Act the citizens committee said they realized Manteca’s future ability to draw on ground water to meet its needs could be significantly impacted. It is why they indicated the council would be wise to keep the committee in place to continue looking for ways that the city, residents, and businesses can do to become even more water efficient.
The committee also in August of 2015 recommended city staff to develop 10 educational items:
evelop an informational water conservation flyer for new water accounts.
Develop a city rebate/water conservation information package for all homeowners.
Better educate homeowner associations and groups that have multiple water accounts or multiple water stations on their property.
Enlist community group to assist with water conservation efforts.
Provide additional education to retailers and the Manteca Unified School District.
Develop a point-of-sale property disclosure with the city’s water conservation measures.
Coordinate an ongoing free water conservation/landscape class.
Educate children through various youth programs.
Develop a water conservation program for non-profit car washes.
Develop a water conservation flyer for new pool permit applications.