Manteca’s water use is creeping back up.
Citywide water use was up almost 15 percent last month over July 2015 although it was down 20.5 percent from the benchmark year of 2013.
It reflects a trend that started in June when Manteca water savings were 28 percent over 2013 levels, water use was up 15 percent from June of 2015.
July marked the first time since March that Manteca failed to meet their targeted cutback of 27 percent over 2013 levels. While the state has relaxed water restrictions to give local jurisdictions more flexibility due to a somewhat improved water picture, California is still in the throes of the fourth year of a severe drought.
uThe National Weather Service notes the drought still persists in most of California — excluding the coast from Marin County north and the Klamath Mountains.
uManteca Public Works Director Mark Houghton who vacationed last week in the Sierra and hiked around the 13,000-foot level said the residual snowpack was virtually non-existent. That is not the case in a normal weather year for precipitation.
uTwo of the state’s eight largest reservoirs located within the 209 — New Melones and San Luis — are at 40 percent and 20 percent of average for this time of year. That translates into New Melones — which supplies Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, and Tracy with farm and urban water — having only 24 percent of its 2.4 million acre foot capacity filled and San Luis only 10 percent of its 2 million acre foot capacity containing water.
July did see 10 of its 31 days with 100-degree plus days in Manteca The city also has roughly 3,000 more resident than it did three years ago.
Manteca in June used 28 percent less water than they did in 2013. The city had been surpassing the 27 percent target since March when water use was down 42 percent. It was off 33 percent in April and 31 percent in May. Water use over 2013 levels was down 26 percent in February and 19.5 percent in January.
Manteca used 28.7 percent less water in 2015 than the city did in 2013.
Stricter water rules
for Manteca in place
Stricter water rules are now in place for Manteca residents and businesses.
And failure to comply could cost you as much as $500.
uNo 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.
uNo 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.
uNo irrigation is allowed during or within 48 hours following measurable rainfall as defined by storms that generate run-off or puddles.
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 application plus applicable fees.
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.
There are also other pressures on the water supplies besides the drought.
Over drafting of valley aquifers prompted the state to put in place requirements that groundwater basins be managed to the point that no more water is taken from the ground than is put back into it. Given Manteca relies on ground water as well as surface water from the Stanislaus River watershed the new directive will impact the city.
There are also ongoing efforts to commandeer water on the Stanislaus River and nearby rivers for use for increased fish flows.
City officials have warned “water conservation is going to be a way of life from here on out.”