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Conservation Still Necessary
Water World
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Although we have had very mild weather and enough wet weather to help fill some reservoirs, the warmer temperatures are on the horizon. The City of Riverbank is still required to honor the State Mandated Water Conservation order proclaimed by Governor Jerry Brown to reduce water use due to the drought that the state of California has experienced for the past several years.

Earlier this month the city’s Public Works staff distributed notices door to door to every resident and business in the City of Riverbank to inform them of the summer watering schedule, which began on May 1.

Citizens can water two days a week and may use their sprinkler systems. There will be no landscape watering between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Landscape watering is prohibited within 48 hours after a measurable rainfall ends, despite the summer watering schedule. Odd-numbered addresses can water on Wednesdays and Sundays before 10 a.m. and after 7 p.m. Even-numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 10 a.m. and after 7 p.m. as well.

The fines for water violations have changed to $35 for the first violation, $200 for the second, $300 for the third, $400 for the fourth, $500 for the fifth and will remain $500 for any violations after.

After the door to door notices were distributed to the community, Public Works officials gave them a few weeks to settle in to the new summer schedule. Officials said that as of May 18 the citations began to be issued and to date there have been approximately 22 violations.

Citizens can fill out a form with the City Clerk to appeal the citation within 15 days from the date the citation was issued along with a processing fee of $25 which may be refundable.

City officials may also grant a temporary waiver of the restrictions for certain water restrictions or a hardship exemption due to extenuating circumstances.

Last week, Public Works Superintendent Michael Riddell attended a State Water Board meeting where they informed him that they will have to set the conservation standards for the city. To assist them in doing so they will be hiring an engineer to help determine what the shortfall in the next three years could possibly be, which every city in the state will be required to do.

“I think it is much better this way because it gives us the ability to make our number,” stated Riddell. “This is Riverbank, right next to a river; we don’t have any water quality or quantity problems so it (conservation numbers) is kind of tough for use to figure out.”

The city has not been able to meet the 32 percent reduction required by the State Mandate and therefore Riddell has had to send them monthly reports on the water use situation and water restrictions were put in place.

Once the engineer and the public works staff find the percentage of water reduction necessary for Riverbank residents it will be presented to the City Council for a vote.

“We still want people to conserve water even though we have had good rainfall this year,” added Riddell.

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