Like communities across the state, Turlock is struggling with limited water resources, evident by the loss of two shallow irrigation wells in the North East part of town where the water tables dropped to 96 feet.
"We're doing what we can to get at least one of them back online, we hope, by the end of the week," said Garner Reynolds, the city’s regulatory affairs manager, in a report to the Turlock City Council on Tuesday.
The wells are part of a non-potable water system and as a result the area will turn severely brown said Reynolds. As a city entirely reliable upon groundwater, issues such as these can hit Turlock hard.
"Water reliability continues to be my top priority," said Mayor Gary Soiseth in response to the well issue. "We are committed to working regionally on reducing our city's reliance on groundwater through conservation and the diversification of our drinking water source."
The City of Turlock faced similarly severely low groundwater levels during the drought in 1986, though the groundwater basin was able to recover in the early 1990s due to adequate snowfall. As drought conditions ease, aquifers can rebound but in the meantime encouraging water customers to use water efficiently is extremely important states the water report delivered Tuesday to the City Council.
The Turlock Unified School District, which like Turlock residents is limiting its watering to two days of week, has been partnering with the City alongside the Turlock Irrigation District and California State University, Stanislaus to spread the word about conservative watering practices.
CSUS, which is on a non-potable water system, has met its 25 percent mandated reduction Reynolds stated Tuesday evening. The University uses water from its reflection pond to irrigate and is presently working on a filtration system for their cooling system to further add into irrigation practices. The City has also halted watering the medians on Monte Vista Avenue and Christoffersen Parkway.
The browning of lawns at Medic Alert, Emanuel Medical Center, TUSD, and the City of Turlock parks were recognized in the water report as a testament to the community's commitment to conservation.