City of Tulare Moves to Water Conservation Stage 3

A press release from the City of Tulare

Residents limited to two days per week for outdoor irrigation; outdoor irrigation now prohibited in November

TULARE − The City of Tulare’s Board of Public Utilities declared that the City of Tulare is in Stage 3 of the Water Conservation Ordinance during their board meeting on June 3.

Tulare residents will be limited to outdoor irrigation two days each week, and November was added to the months where outdoor irrigation is prohibited.

The Board voted unanimously to move to a more restrictive water conservation stage after it was found that the City is at historical lows for standing water level depth at the City’s wells. The average standing level water depth in February was 194.7 feet, more than 16 feet deeper than February 2020 (178.3). In October, the average standing water level depth of the City’s wells was 212.0 feet, nearly 15 feet deeper than October 2019 (197.2).

In the months just before the 2011-17 California drought, the average standing water level depth of the City’s wells ranged from 47 feet to 40 feet higher than it is currently. In February 2010, the average standing water level depth of the City’s wells was 147.8 feet. In October 2010, the average standing water level depth was at 173.3 feet.

The average standing water level depth is a key statistic in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) that was adopted in 2014. By 2040, urban water suppliers are prohibited from pumping more groundwater than it can replenish, meaning water levels must stay level compared to previous years.

The City of Tulare’s move to Stage 3 was preceded by declarations from the Tulare County Board of Supervisors and Governor Gavin Newsom. On April 27, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution proclaiming the existence of a local emergency due to severe drought conditions in Tulare County. On May 10, Newsom declared a drought emergency for Tulare County.

The key features of Stage 3:

  • Monday, Thursday and Friday are non-watering days.
  • All outdoor irrigation shall occur only two days per week, between midnight and 4 a.m., then again between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and then again between 10 p.m. and midnight on permitted watering days – this follows the same time schedule of Stage 2.
  • Dwellings with odd-numbered street addresses shall water only on Tuesday and Saturday.
  • Dwellings with even-numbered street addresses shall water only on Wednesday and Sunday.
  • No outdoor irrigation allowed in November, December, January and February.

The City of Tulare amended their Water Conservation Ordinance (Chapter 7.32) in 2020. The City removed the voluntary Stage 1 in the City’s Code of Ordinances, and added a stage where outdoor irrigation was allowed two days per week. In the previous Water Conservation Ordinance, outdoor irrigation would have gone from three days per week to one day per week.

If you would like more information, please call Trisha Whitfield at 559-684-4319 or email: [email protected].

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