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Visalia Continues With Stage 2 of Water Conservation Ordinance

The Visalia City Council has voted to continue with Stage 2 of the Water Conservation ordinance. Stage 2 details how water can be used for irrigation, ornamental water features, cleaning and other purposes, and prohibits the waste of water.

Continuing Stage 2 will keep all water regulations consistent for the next year, unless the City Council chooses to adopt a different stage prior to May 1, 2018.

While much of the State has been declared out of the drought, Tulare County is one of four Counties in the State that remains in a drought state of emergency, and is still a critically over drafted basin that will need to prove sustainable water usage by 2020.

The State of California is currently working on a long-term conservation framework, and California Water Service is working on water budgets for local properties. Once the regulations from the State and the information from Cal Water are known, the Council may want to revisit the stage designation at that time, and/or the entire water conservation ordinance.

In a letter to the Council, Cal Water acknowledged that a single wet year will not resolve the larger problem of groundwater overdraft, nor end the need to conserve in Visalia. They support the City’s emphasis on water conservation; however, the company does suggest revisiting the ordinance when the State’s framework is finalized.

Stage 2 involves leaving in place the following provisions:

  • Irrigation of ornamental landscapes is prohibited in the months of December, January and February, and is limited two (2) days per week in March through November and specifies which days in accordance with the address.
  • Landsape irrigation zones that exclusively use drip irrigation systems.
  • Irrigation of non-turf ornamental landscapes with the use of an attended hand-held bucket or similar container, or an attended hand-held hose.
  • Sports Fields, public and private golf course greens and tees and large landscape areas may deviate from the mandatory irrigation day and time restrictions if an approved process is followed. A plant establishment exception for new permanent landscapes is allowed by permit. The plant establishment exception allows for irrigation on non-watering days for a period of 21 days subject to the duration requirements above. The plant establishment exception does not apply to installation of turf or annual plants.
  • Overseeding of lawns is prohibited. Exception is provided for maintenance of Sports Fields and golf course greens and tees.
  • Filling or re-filling ornamental lakes or ponds is prohibited, except to the extent needed to sustain aquatic life and it meets certain criteria.
  • The washing of sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, courts, patios, or other paved areas is absolutely prohibited, unless it is necessary for the health and safety of the public, in which case a low-flow high-pressure washer must be used.
  • Washing of buildings is prohibited unless preparing the building for sale or for painting, in which case a low-flow high-pressure washer must be used.
  • All outdoor mist cooling systems related to human comfort are prohibited.
  • Use of temporary water slides is prohibited.
  • One warning is issued before issuance of a citation, and there is a water conservation class that may be taken instead of paying a first fine.
For more information on conservation, visit

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