During the recent Riverbank City Council meeting, Councilmember Cal Campbell had item 6.2: Reconsider Regulations Relating to Outdoor Watering added to the agenda to discuss the hours mandated for outdoor watering.
Campbell said he had the item placed on the agenda due to a request from several concerned community members that were having difficulties watering after 9 p.m. and before 9 a.m. during the one day a week that they have been allotted.
The idea was to get the item on the agenda to start the conversation about possibly changing the hours that watering is allowed and receive feedback from the council members.
Throughout the State of California, due to the historic drought, there have been several water restrictions placed on residents. Riverbank is no exception. To reduce the water use in the City of Riverbank, the City Council took action by implementing a schedule that allows citizens to only water one day a week in the evening hours after 9 p.m. and in the early morning hours before 9 a.m. Outdoor watering must be done by hand. The mandatory one day a week watering schedule began on Dec. 1, 2015 and is scheduled to be effective through May 1, 2016.
City officials said that there have been some questions about why people cannot water at different times of the day during the winter. For consistency, the hours that outdoor watering is allowed was not changed when the prohibition on sprinklers was put in place because most people do not need to water landscaping during the winter.
“Several people in the community had mentioned to me it was difficult to water on their one day a week before and after the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., no watering hours with the cold and in the dark,” said Campbell. “It was pointed out by some of the people who contacted me that this could be very difficult for the elderly and handicapped.”
There were no motions taken at the Jan. 12 session since this item was only up for discussion and according to Campbell, after several minutes of discussing the matter, the major concern from the council was that it might confuse the public on the times that are approved for watering.
“I presented the issue to the council as a safety measure, not to change any of the goals the city needs to reach to improve our water use and to abide by state rules,” stated Campbell. “Council agreed to visit the issue again later in the year when we see what the state will require for next year.”
So even though no change is coming soon, residents could actually get a break with the ongoing series of winter storms providing some water courtesy of Mother Nature, and not have to worry about their own individual watering days and times.