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Water conservation versus growth
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Tuesday’s front page article about water conservation (“Green to yellow to brown”) was helpful to show how Manteca residents are taking steps to conserve water. It also said water conversation was down 32 percent in May, putting us well on track to exceed overall water reduction by the state-mandated 27 percent over 2013. I say kudos to people for their water conservation efforts.
Then Wednesday’s paper arrived and the lead article was about the “Flood of new homes.” The City Council approved doing an environmental impact study for 962 homes in southwest Manteca. The article goes on to say at those homes are in addition to the 676 homes proposed for Oakwood Trails and another 1,176 for Manteca Trails. The total of 2m814 new homes could bring 9,000 more city residents. No mention was made about where these homes will get their water. My understanding is the 32 percent reduction has been made only by those on meters. What’s the percentage of residents that are not on meters and how are they doing at water conservation?
Where will water for new homes come from? Is the water for 2,814 homes coming from the savings from the residents who have worked hard to be responsible water users? What about water for the hundreds of thousands of new almond and other trees planted since spring? What’s better for the trees and water conversation: flooding, sprinklers, or drip lines, and why aren’t farmers using the best method? Why does the city not follow the conservation requirements we citizens are under? If residents are being asked to conserve while watching homes being built all over the city, with no answer on where the water for those homes will come from — in time people will question why they have to conserve at all. It’s time for an open and honest dialogue about water.

John Vonhof