City of Fresno Increases Water Conservation Measures in Response to Governor’s “State of Emergency”

With the State of California entering its 3rd straight year of drought and water shortage, the City of Fresno has taken action to be good stewards of this precious resource. Today, the Fresno City Council voted unanimously to support a 20% voluntary reduction in water use city-wide. Last month,
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a California “Drought State of Emergency” and encouraged urban areas within the state to take this conservation step. The following policies were adopted today to help reach Fresno’s new conservation goals:

· Intensify public information and media outreach campaigns to encourage water use reductions;

· Increase water waste patrols to enforce provisions of the Fresno Municipal Code focusing on watering schedule compliance and other requirements;

· Elimination of daytime (8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.) summer outdoor watering and maintaining current watering days to simplify public education;

· Allow car washing with a bucket only (a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle may be used for a quick rinse).

Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Council President Cynthia Sterling both participated in last week’s West Side Water March and have a clear understanding of the severe impacts of the drought throughout the valley and the state. “The residents of our community recognize the critical challenges we face with our state’s water supply,” Mayor Swearengin said. “The steps taken today will reduce waste and help ensure Fresno has adequate water to meet local needs in this time of shortage.”

Her statement was echoed by Council President Sterling. “Having spent two days on the Water March last week strengthened my resolve to take additional steps to conserve locally and to show full support for our partners across the valley.”

By increasing outreach efforts and adopting a more proactive approach to reducing water use, city officials are confident Fresno will meet its 20% conservation goal. These actions will also help avoid the effects of “over-drafting” the city’s ground water supply in the future and contributes to the long-term sustainability of this essential community resource.