It appears local residents are getting sloppy about their water use. With that in mind, the city council tightened the screws Monday night, talking water conservation and implementing stricter watering requirements.
Corcoran and other municipalities throughout the state are under mandate to restrict water use. Governor Jerry Brown hopes to achieve a statewide cut of 25 percent; based on water usage from 2013 as the base year.
Earlier this year, the California Department of Water Resources notified cities of the rate by which they had to trim water use. Corcoran was told to cut back by 36 percent. Hanford was to aim for a 32 percent reduction in use and Lemoore was set at 28 percent.
While the city fell far short in September, reaching a 26 percent reduction, Corcoran was able to hit its high mark in July, cutting use by 36 percent, and came close to its mandate in August, trimming water use by 31 percent.
Both Hanford and Lemoore have received letters from the water resources board of under-achieving. Hanford has pegged just an overall 11 percent cut in water use. Lemoore’s is slightly better.
The City of Corcoran has not received a threatening letter from the board and hopes to avoid it. The council decided to be pro-active Monday night to reach its state-mandated goals.
City Manager Kindon Meik noted that the city is revising a mailer sent to all households earlier this year regarding outdoor watering. At that time, residents and most businesses were limited to watering lawns two days per week. Meik said the issue needs to be addressed now, since projections from the water department show that Corcoran could once again fail to meet its goals in October.
The council discussed the issue in detail, finally deciding to approve a resolution at its next meeting that will change the local watering ordinance, this time limiting watering of lawns to just one time per week. The council also
indicated that those who do water one day per week need to limit their watering cycles.
“We don’t want sprinklers turned on in the morning, then watering once again in the evening,” noted Mayor Jerry Robertson. “We don’t save water that way.”
The city is also becoming less indulgent of those who water at the wrong times, or on the wrong days. To date, about 30 citations have been presented to water wasters throughout the community, and that activity will continue.
“People have also been cited for watering within 48 hours of significant rain and we have cited people whose sprinklers were running while it was raining,” said Kevin Tromborg, community development director.
He said about 80 percent of the residents received citations, while 20 percent got warnings.
“We have done the education; now people are receiving citations for continued watering violations,” he told the council.
By taking additional steps now, City Councilman Jim Wadsworth said the city can show it is making every effort to be compliant with the state water regulations. Hanford has already been tasked with hiring additional personnel and providing additional public information, among other things, by the water board. Fines can also reach up to $10,000 per day for non-compliance.