While the City of Corcoran is reviewing and refining its water conservation ordinance, the State of California is marching ahead with regulations of its own—and some of those place Corcoran in the target zone.
The city council discussed its ordinance at length Monday evening, providing direction to staff, who will bring the document back for final approval. The city is under the gun to conserve water, with the California Water Resources Board placing the community in its highest tier of municipalities which need to conserve more.
The governor recently called for a statewide 25 percent conservation achievement. However, that point will not be reached with all municipalities cutting usages by that amount. Some have been factored in for lower savings, some higher. It depends on the average daily amount of water used.
For instance, the City of Arcata, which shows daily residential use of water at 43.5 gallons per day per person, needs to conserve just eight percent of its usage to make the state goal. Corcoran, on the other hand, is ranked in tier nine—the lowest—when it comes to conserving water. To help the state makes its overall goal of 25 percent savings, the City of Corcoran is required to reduce its water usage by 36 percent. Current usage is pegged at 223.7 gallons a day per resident.
Several other Central Valley towns also find themselves in the ninth tier, including Wasco, Shafter and Clovis. Tulare, Hanford and Lemoore are in tier eight, and required to cut back by 32 percent.
How to meet those regulatory requirements—and avoid potentially crippling state fines, occupied much of Monday evening’s discussion. Staff presented its current overhaul of the water conservation ordinance and the council added recommendations that further refined the debate.
The local ordinance is being changed to reflect a mandated water conservation effort, which the voluntary cutback of water usage eliminated. And with four tiers of water curtailment, it appears the council is willing to begin this watering year at Phase III.
Under that plan, residents will be able to water lawns and landscaping only twice per week.
The council also discussed the hours between which watering will be allowed, deciding that between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. will work best for most residents who have to move water manually while using a hose and sprinkler.
The council also liked the idea of utilizing the City of Fresno’s watering schedule, since public service announcements appear regularly on television. Under that system, Corcoran residents whose addresses end in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6 and8) would water on Wednesday and/or Sunday, while those with odd-number ending addresses (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) would be allowed to water on Tuesdays and/or Saturdays.
Local fines will also be coming under the new mandate. While residents will most likely be given citations with warnings first, the current fine schedule starts at $100 per incident and goes up to $200 and $300 for subsequent violations.
The city is discussing hiring a code enforcement officer to enforce its revised ordinance, but pulled that item from Monday’s agenda.
The council appears poised to adopt the ordinance as an emergency measure, precluding a 30-day waiting period for its adoption.