Ripon will set its water conservation goals at 30 percent.
The City Council last week agreed to do just that with the caveat of continuing to enforce the current water use restrictions.
“(The drought) isn’t over and it won’t be over for a while — we’ll need another wet year,” said Councilman Michael Restuccia, who recommended the 30 percent monthly water reduction goal for the city over that of staff’s 25 percent.
Director of Public Works Ted Johnston said Ripon is currently at 29.9 percent, using 2013 as a baseline comparison on the actual volume of water used.
Since April, the City was required to achieve 33 percent under the adopted statewide water conservation mandate.
Elected leaders are optimistic that the efforts here can continue to achieve the 30 percent goal or better consider the following:
uThe City installed 2,011 water meters that were previously non-metered and those customers started receiving bills of their actual water usage, according to Johnston.
uAn automated telemetry system were also put in, providing hourly water use to residents via website or a mobile phone app.
uCustomers can purchase an EPA Smart Irrigation controller and / or low-flow shower heads, using rebates.
uThe City was a public outreach campaign consisting of water audits, assistance setting irrigation timers, mailers with tips to conserve water, and information booth at the local events.
Johnston, in addition, assured that the water supplies are good for now.
In the last three years, he said that the groundwater levels have decreased an average of one foot per year.
“Assuming that the groundwater level rate of decrease remains the same, the City would still have more than adequate water supply in case of an additional three years of drought,” Johnston added.
Information on water conservation can be obtained by logging on at www.cityofripon.org.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.