Modesto residents will be able to water their lawns three times a week for the first time in two years.
The City Council on Tuesday night approved increasing outdoor watering from two days to three days a week from June through October. Modesto has limited outdoor watering to once or twice a week depending on the time of year since May 2015.
The city is easing up after winter storms drenched the valley and covered the Sierra Nevada in snow. Modesto gets its drinking water from wells and Tuolumne River water treated by the Modesto Irrigation District. The MID is providing Modesto its full annual allotment of river water for the first time since 2012.
This also comes after Gov. Jerry Brown in April declared an end to the state’s historic drought, which was California’s driest four-year period on record. But Brown did not lift the drought emergency in Tuolumne, Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties.
Modesto’s roughly 500 water customers in Grayson, Turlock and Walnut Manor in Ceres will remain on two-day-a-week watering because they rely on wells and are outside of the Modesto groundwater sub-basin.
Water customers with odd-numbered addressed can water Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Those with even-numbered addresses can water Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Watering has to take place before noon or after 7 p.m. But drip irrigation and hand watering of trees and shrubs is allowed at any time.
A city report emphasized that Modesto could tighten its watering rules again.
“It is important to note that the amount of seasonal outdoor water use in the future will need to be evaluated on an annual basis,” the report said, “and will be dependent on the available surface water supply.”
And the city’s regulations against wasting water remain in place.
Kevin Valine: 209-578-2316