The City of Riverbank’s water use for the month of November 2015 was 96 gallons per person per day, which is a one percent reduction compared to water use in November 2013, which is the baseline established by the State. Water use by the City’s water customers continues to exceed the level allowed by the State, which has mandated that the City reduce its water use by 32 percent compared to 2013.
As a result, the City has received a Water Conservation Order for failure to meet the Conservation Mandate. The City has or is in the process of implementing programs that will meet the requirements of the Conservation Order, which is summarized below:
The State is directing the City to immediately and diligently pursue a new billing system that will allow customers to evaluate water use from year to year. The City is in the process of implementing new financial software to provide customers with more details on water use.
The City is required to identify the highest water user in its service area and offer at least seven of them a water use audit within 90 days. The highest water users have been identified and will be offered audits, consistent with the Conservation Order.
The City has initiated a water meter replacement project and as directed by the State, will expedite the installation of the new more efficient meters.
Consistent with the State’s directive, the City recently adopted a one day a week landscape irrigation plan, which includes the prohibition of the use of landscape irrigation systems (sprinklers) until May 1, 2016.
The State is requiring the City to dedicate two part-time employees to water conservation programs. The City currently has one part-time employee and will hire another part-time employee within 120 days to comply with the State order.
The City will submit a report in February and March of 2016 detailing the month’s efforts to comply with each of the mandates listed in the order, said city officials. Failure to comply with the order could subject the City to a fine of up to $500 per day for each day it fails to comply, which makes the water conservation efforts even more critical.
“We must try to meet the State mandates,” said Public Works Superintendent Michael Riddell, noting that it could be extra tough to meet the reduction during the winter months, when water use is normally lower. However, he said, the city remains committed to the water conservation effort.
“The City appreciates the efforts many have made and are continuing to make in helping conserve water and we remain optimistic that these efforts will inspire other residents to join this effort,” Riddell added. “The only way we have any chance of meeting the State’s water conservation mandates is by working together.”