Public meetings will be held in Visalia and Selma next week so residents can learn about water-use restrictions and penalties they will face if they exceed drought-related cutbacks.
Details about use restrictions, water waste violations and penalties, water budgets to be given to each customer, and water banking for use in future months will be outlined by Cal Water representatives.
The Visalia meeting will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Visalia Marriott, 300 S. Court St. The Selma gathering will be 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 1710 Tucker St.
Starting next month, California Water Service customers in Visalia and Selma must use 32% less water than two years ago or pay a hefty drought surcharge.
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The California Public Utilities Commission said Thursday that the requirement to cut water use must be followed by investor-owned utilities. The State Water Resources Control Board has issued a mandate for a 25% reduction in water use statewide.
A drought surcharge will be added to water bills when customers exceed their allotted monthly water use budget, and the surcharge on excess water will typically be twice the highest rate, Cal Water said in notices mailed to customers.
City officials in Visalia said overall water use has declined since 2013, but more cuts totaling about 20% will be needed to reach the state’s 32% goal.
Most state ordered restrictions are already in effect in Visalia and further local restrictions go into effect May 20, officials said.
This week, the Selma City Council passed an ordinance restricting landscape watering to twice week between 7 p.m. and 6 a..m, with odd numbered addresses allowed to water on Tuesdays and Saturday, and even numbered addresses on Wednesday and Sundays.
Car washing is not allowed except at commercial car washes that use recycled water, the ordinance states.