Further water restrictions are already in the works for Merced County residents ahead of the order earlier this week from Gov. Jerry Brown to cut back water use in cities and counties by 25 percent.
The governor’s order did not apply to farmers.
Such restrictions have been in place in Merced for many years, but city authorities are exploring possibilities to save more water, according to Michael Wegley, the city’s director of water resources.
“We are exploring using recycled water to manually water city trees and shrubs and for street sweeping trucks,” Wegley said. “We are also considering using recycled water to clean and flush sewer mains and storm drains.”
Wegley said city officials will prepare a resolution or ordinance in the coming weeks for the City Council once the state water board approves the new drought regulations ordered by the governor.
“We expect to do this in May when the water board finalizes the regulations,” Wegley said.
County officials are also looking at cutback options, spokesman Mike North confirmed.
“Efforts are underway by the county to better conserve and manage water through both innovative measures as well as program adjustments,” North said. “Irrigation at county parks will be reduced, but trees will be monitored and receive more water if they show signs of stress.”
North noted the county government is not a purveyor of water. “So we generally don’t impose watering restrictions, aside from Castle Commerce Center,” North said. “Those living in the unincorporated areas are normally on their own private wells. We’re strongly encouraging water conservation.”
The county Board of Supervisors earlier this year adopted a groundwater ordinance aimed at protecting the water by regulating water transfers out of county basins.
“The county is also continuing its public outreach campaign to educate the community about water conservation,” North said. “We’ve taken a multimedia approach to encourage saving water around the house and in the yard.”
Restrictions on the east side of Merced County already in place
Homes with addresses ending in even numbers are limited to outdoor watering Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. Odd-numbered homes water on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. All outdoor watering is prohibited Wednesdays.
Violations could result in fines ranging from $25 to $100. For more information or to report waste, contact the city’s Public Works Administration at (209) 394-8044.
Residents with even-numbered addresses water Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Odd-numbered addresses water on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. All watering is restricted to hours between 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. No outdoor watering is allowed on Monday.
Violations can result in fines between $50 and $100. Waste can be reported by calling (209) 357-6370.
Even-numbered homes can water on Tuesday and Saturday; odd-numbered homes on Wednesday and Sunday. No outside watering is allowed on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.
To report water waste, call (209) 388-SAVE.