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Once a week watering
Manteca may mandate it during late fall to end of winter
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When you turn the clocks back starting next fall you may have to reprogram your automatic sprinklers.
The Manteca City Council on Tuesday is considering adopting water conservation rules that will limit landscape watering when standard time  is in effect— roughly mid-October to mid-March — to just one day  a week. Addresses ending in odd numbers would be allowed to water on Sundays while those ending with even numbers on Saturday.
During Daylight Savings Time that spans the warmer months of fall and spring as well as summer, three day a week watering would still be allowed. Even addresses can legally water Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday while odd addresses can water Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
Watering will be forbidden year round on Mondays as well as any day from noon to 6 p.m.
It also could become illegal 45 days from Tuesday if the council adopts the new ordinance for anyone to irrigate outdoors within 48 hours following measureable rainfall. That is defined as any amount of rain that generates run-off or puddles.
Also hotels and motels will be mandated to offer their guests the option to have their linens and towels laundered daily. They also would have to prominently display the option in each guest room.
In addition the city is moving to ban the use of potable water in decorative water features that do not recirculate the water.
That means unless the city retrofits the $300,000 plus interactive water play feature at Library Park that it will never be turned on again as long as the water saving measure is on the books.
Exceptions to the new rules include the Manteca municipal golf course, city parks, the city hall complex, and Manteca Unified School District landscapes. It also will be allowable to water newly installed landscape for up to 21 days without adhering to the water conservation rules.
The new changes are part of a stepped up effort by the city to reach the state’s mandate for Manteca to reduce water consumption 32 percent over 2013 levels due to the ongoing drought.
Manteca had 6,000 less residents in January 2011 — the last time there was normal or above normal rainfall in January — and used 7.5 percent less water than city residents did last month.
But the reduction that counts under state mandates due to California possibly heading into fifth straight year of drought is how water use stacks up to January 2013 when Manteca residents used 214 million gallons. Manteca residents used 19.5 percent less water (172 million gallons) this past January than three years prior.
The drop-off is due to the majority of homeowners not watering lawns and gardens as they did in January 2013 when temperatures were warmer and there was only a trace amount of rain.
Overall, Manteca has to reduce its annual water consumption by 32 percent. The big savings come in the hotter months when the city has been making significant inroads into reducing waster that is being used for landscape irrigation purposes.
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 2,200 residents to grow the population base by more than 3 percent during the last two years. Manteca fell short of the mandated goal by 3.3 percent.
The city shut off most of its irrigation systems earlier in December. Most of Manteca followed the city’s advice and ceased landscape irrigation before, during and after storms.
The City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.