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City urges residents to decrease water usage
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Residents of Turlock are being urged to reduce their daily water consumption as the City Council reviewed the city’s water conservation efforts.

According to City Municipal Services Director Michael Cooke, the City has already made significant progress in lowering water consumption rates over recent years, even though Turlock’s population has increased.

“There’s plenty we can still do,” said Cooke. “I would urge Turlock residents to keep landscaping to a bare minimum. I have seen some people watering their lawn three times a week, and at this point in time there is no need to do that.”

Over the past five years, Turlock has reduced its water consumption by about 17 percent. Today, approximately 277 gallons per person per day is being used, nearly 100 gallons less than what people were using each day in 2002.

“We were pumping the same amount of water when the population was 17,000 less,” said Cooke. “As you can see, the amount of water used by a single person has decreased over the years.”

The 277 gallons per person per day that is currently being used is split into residential and industrial users, with a typical resident using approximately 200 gallons per day, with the remainder resulting from industrial use.

“We’re ahead of our goals in conservation,” said Cooke. “We should be in good shape…Like the Governor’s drought declaration said, we need to make conservation a way of life here in Turlock.”

The State of Emergency Drought Declaration issued by Gov. Jerry Brown included a provision encouraging all California residents to reduce their water consumption by 20 percent – a goal that Cooke says could be difficult for some, but not impossible.

 According to Cooke, the typical Turlock resident would need to reduce 5,000 gallons per month to reach the Governor’s request. With the City’s online system allowing residents to monitor their metered water usage, residents could reduce their monthly water consumption by viewing their patterns and usage online.

The City is monitoring as well. According to Cooke, more than 1,000 violations were issued last year by city staff for residents watering their lawns and landscaping exceedingly.

“We have a free service that the City offers that has city staff comes out to residents’ homes to set up their sprinkler timer,” said Cooke. “We also have our high-efficiency washer and toilet rebate program available.”

Should a resident be found wasting water, Cooke says that it can be reported to the City.

“Please let us know if water is being wasted,” said Cooke. “I believe that people can self-police on this because we need help to save water for the summer months….It’s going to be a tough year, and everyone is urged to do their part.”