Visalia approves limiting residents' water use


Unless Visalia residents have drip irrigation, sprinklers for your lawn and flowers will now be a rarity. Using a water hose will also now be a once-a-week requirement now that "Stage 4" of the city's water ordinance is being enforced.

"The city council is very concerned about the drought the water problems that we're having here in the county especially agriculture on the east side of the county and felt Visalia needed to take a lead role," said Kim Loeb, City of Visalia.

Natural Resource Conservation Manager Kim Loeb says no watering will be allowed during the winter months of January and February, with one day a week allowed in March and April, two day a week in May, and then back to the normal three days a week during the summer. In October, the restrictions revert back to two days per week, and November and December is one day per week.

The idea is to get the most water savings and cause the least damage to people's landscaping. City leaders say this is vital to try and boost the city's dwindling water supply during drought conditions.

Melanie Mackenzie at Luis Nursery in Visalia says the ordinance teaches people to water their plants properly, saving water at the same time. "I read it and said these are all good things that they're doing, these are teaching people to occasionally water and deep water"

Mackenzie says people have been coming into their business asking about drip irrigation, water saving methods, and checking out their drought tolerant plants. "They ask about that all the time the people are coming in and asking about drought tolerant plants so the awareness is happening they realize this is going to happen."

Failing to comply with the new water restrictions could mean citations, and even a fine. The first fine is $100, and residents have already been receiving warnings from the city.

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