Year-round water plan suggested

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks City commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Randy Crowder expects new water conservation ordinances to come into effect next summer.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

A new plan city commissioners adopted in their last meeting will lead to year-round ordinances restricting water use next year.

City commissioners adopted a water conservation plan in its Thursday meeting.

City commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Randy Crowder said the plan recommends the city create ordinances to enforce water conservation measures similar to its drought management ordinance, which it adopted about two years ago.

Water conservation restrictions only come into action during a drought. The water conservation plan will enforce restrictions whether there is a drought or not.

“The water conservation plan is for year-round, even during wet seasons, how to use your water really wisely, how to conserve as much of our aquifer as we can,” Crowder said.

The older plan is enacted during drought conditions and follows water deficiencies.

The city is currently under the first stage of the ordinance, which indicates voluntary water conservation with no penalties enacted.

If there is an obvious violation, Crowder said, code enforcement officials will give homeowners a warning.

“If you hang one on the door, you’re educating the public,” he said.

Crowder said the plan will take some of its restrictions from the drought management plan such as no watering of lawns from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Crowder said the Water Policy Board will start creating ordinances in September for the city to adopt. He expects the ordinances to come into effect next summer.

“At that point, that will trump the drought management plan, then it becomes law, locked in year-round, year after year,” he said.