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Many have asked our staff why the City is still telling its water customers to only water on certain days of the week when the State is telling everyone that the drought is over. The truth is Shafter and other Central Valley cities are still facing a severe water crisis. The water you see flowing in rivers and canals has not made it to the groundwater that is our source of water to pump and deliver to our customers. All of the groundwater users, mostly agriculture, have simply been pumping water faster than Mother Nature can replace it. This causes the groundwater levels to drop which makes it harder and more expensive to deliver water. Until we see improvements with the groundwater supplies, it’s still important that we conserve as much as possible.
While the City Council has made our three-day outdoor watering schedule permanent to ensure that we have water now and into the future, they also realize the schedule during the extreme heat of summer makes is very difficult for some to have enough time to water everything this outside, mostly their trees and gardens. That is why we plan to update our policies and even provide instructional videos on how to follow the new policies within the next few weeks. Until then, our crews that do water conservation patrols will focus on stopping waste, such as overwatering grass and letting water runoff into the streets, rather than watering outside a certain time of day. The three-day watering schedule is not going away but the City will try to be as flexible as possible with the new policies so it’s easier to deal with the extreme summer heat and get enough water to our yards.
As always, we welcome your opinions and ideas. Thank you for your cooperation.