As local students trickle back into the classrooms for another year of school, the water in the City of Turlock aquatic playgrounds will also dribble to a stop as the City makes efforts to conserve during the state’s ongoing drought.
While the aquatic parks located at Broadway and Columbia Parks will not be entirely shut down, the City is choosing to provide limited hours of access to the parks that many families enjoy during the summer months. Typically open between April and September from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., once school starts water hours will now be limited to 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday with regular hours maintained on the weekends.
“This is our game plan until the end of August,” explained Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Manager Allison Van Guilder at the City Council meeting Tuesday night. “We’re going to continue to monitor temperatures in the upcoming weeks and may consider closing earlier than normal, which is the end of September, if the weather begins to cool down.”
The city is also asking locals to make efforts to conserve water at their homes by reducing outdoor watering frequency to twice per week, reduce the watering cycle times to 10-15 minutes per valve, use a broom instead of the hose, follow the year round landscape watering schedule, and fix leaky faucets. According to the city approximately 60 percent of the water used in the summer months is for outdoor water use and the city is now offering free assistance for locals to set up automatic sprinklers for residents to diminish water waste.
In upcoming months the city will also be required to submit a monthly monitoring report of water production to the state as well as an estimate of per capita residential water use. While the city is setting measures in place such as limiting the aquatic parks water emission, more actions will be taken to regulate landscaping conservation as well.
According to Van Guilder locals are likely to see the vegetation in medians on Monte Vista Avenue and Christofferson Parkway “showing signs of stress” as the city has diminished landscape water supplies. As the ground turf in the medians begins to wither as a consequence of the city’s prudent measures, the Department of Municipal Serves is in the process of applying for grants to finance the planting of drought-tolerant plants.
“The drought situation is a game changer for us,” said Van Guilder.