For the second consecutive year, the western United States, California, and in particular the Central Valley, have experienced widespread drought-like conditions. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Fresno is situated in the middle of an “exceptional” drought region, encompassing conditions expected once per 50 years for the second consecutive year.
In 2015, exceptional drought conditions are once again beginning to grow which will put an ever greater strain on our groundwater resources. Fortunately, under the City of Fresno’s new water infrastructure program, we have the opportunity to bring mountain water here so that our groundwater supply can rest, recharge and be restored.
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The City of Fresno Water Conservation Program has been actively promoting activities that lower water demand in the community since about 1981, helping Fresno meet the many challenges of water supply management.
Recently, the State Water Resources Control Board issued a new statewide water conservation policy that imposes a minimum level of restrictions and stronger fines. Because Fresno has been a leader in water conservation, we’re already in compliance with most of those restrictions.
In fact, the City constantly evaluates the need for increased conservation measures and, given the impact of the state water board’s decision and the ongoing challenges we face because of the drought, it’s time to act. That’s why the City of Fresno has moved to the Stage 2 water shortage contingency plan approved by City Council, and in November 2014, amended that plan to allow outdoor irrigation for 1 day per week during the winter months.
This is a sensible policy that addresses the need to step up enforcement while limiting the overall impact on our residents and businesses. Our goal is to exceed the Governor’s recommended conservation levels by reducing overall consumption by 25%.
City of Fresno
Stage 2 Water Shortage Contingency Plan
Stage Two Water Use Regulations are summarized as Follows:
- Limit winter outdoor irrigation (December 1 - March 1) to 1 day per week.
- ODD numbered addresses (street numbers ending in 1,3,5,7, or 9) should water on Saturdays.
- EVEN numbered addresses (street numbers ending in 0,2,4,6, or 8) should water on Sundays.
- Watering must occur before 9:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m.
- NO watering is allowed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays during the winter months.
All other restrictions remain in place from the City of Fresno’s original water conservation policy.
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CITY OF FRESNO STAGE 2 WATER CONSERVATION PLAN FAQ’s
Q: Why did we go to Stage 2 of the Water Conservation Plan?
A: To help control increasing water consumption and extend our water supply. Fresno has been a leader in water conservation for decades and aggressive conservation is the most economical and environmentally protective resource management tool available, helping Fresno meet the many challenges of water supply management.
Q: Are there any other reasons for the mandatory schedule?
A: Water is a critical issue in the city of Fresno. We are susceptible to drought and reductions or even elimination of our water allotments. The City constantly evaluates the need for increased conservation measures and recently, we’ve become concerned about our available water supply. Proactive water conservation efforts demonstrate our city’s ability to use existing resources responsibly.
Q: What is the watering schedule for twice-weekly watering?
A: ODD numbered addresses (street numbers ending in 1,3,5,7, or 9) should water on Tuesdays and/or Saturdays. EVEN numbered addresses (street numbers ending in 0,2,4,6, or 8) should water on Wednesdays and/or Sundays. There should be no watering on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays.
Q: What about watering during the winter?
A: The City Council recently approved amending the Stage 2 watering rules to allow 1 day of outdoor irrigation between December 1 and March 1. ODD numbered addresses (street numbers ending in 1,3,5,7, or 9) should water on Saturdays. EVEN numbered addresses (street numbers ending in 0,2,4,6, or 8) should water on Sundays. There should be no watering on weekdays during the winter months.
However, as the weather cools and fog or rain comes, there is little need for watering. The winter season is a critical time for our community to partially replenish the groundwater supply that was used heavily during the summer months. Not watering during this naturally cool time of the year helps recharge our aquifer and is an ideal time to conserve.
Q: Are there any other changes in Stage 2?
A: No. Car washing is still bucket-only with a hose equipped with a nozzle for a quick rinse, and the rest of the Stage 1 water conservation plan remains in effect.
Q: Can I use drip irrigation, a soaker hose or hand water?
A: Yes, these more efficient watering methods are allowed, but only on your assigned watering days.
Q: How long will we stay in Stage 2?
A: They’re in effect, year-round, until further notice.
Q: How can I get more information on conserving water?
A: Additional information is available on the City’s website HERE. Specific information about the Stage 2 water conservation plan can be found at www.fresno.gov/drought.