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Manteca water use up 25% as weather forces ski resort closure
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Manteca’s water use shot up 25 percent last month compared to January 2017 as much of the state including the Northern San Joaquin Valley appear to be slipping back toward drought conditions.

At the same time the record warm spell reached its seventh day Friday when the high hit 76 degrees at the Civic Center shattering a record of 71 degrees set in 2003. Friday also saw the early blooming almond varieties starting to bud roughly a week ahead of normal thanks to the unseasonably warm weather.

Dodge Ridge Ski Resort that’s on the Stanislaus River watershed South County farmers as well as the cities of Manteca, Lathrop, and Tracy rely on for water was forced to close Friday due to unseasonably warm temperatures and an anemic snowpack. The resort near Pinecrest on Highway 108 that has a summit elevation of 8,200 feet wasn’t able to open this season until Jan. 20 due to dry year conditions

Forecast models expect no rainfall in Central California for at least a week and no significant snow in the Sierra until mid-March.

Meanwhile, the United States Drought Monitor report issued Friday though the US Department of Agriculture indicated conditions have worsened in the past week. There’s been a 10 percent increase in the amount of the state with at least abnormally dry conditions (81.73%) and a 5 percent jump of portions of California in a moderate drought  (45.60%), and 50 percent more of the state in severe drought (6.39%) with all percentages based on land.

The report indicates 24 million Californians — primarily in Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, and  Ventura counties — are dealing with drought conditions. By comparison south San Joaquin County and Stanislaus County along with the Stanislaus River watershed are in abnormally dry conditions.

January water use in Manteca surpassed use in the same months for 2015, 2016, and 2017 but below the record year of 2014.

Manteca’s water rules

The stricter water rules that were adopted for Manteca residents and businesses 31 months ago are as follows:

uNo irrigation is allowed during or within 48 hours following measurable rainfall as defined by storms that generate run-off or puddles.

uNo 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.

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.

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 violation plus applicable fees.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email