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Manteca Looks To Try And Curtail Its Record Water Usage

MANTECA (CBS13) – California is in a drought, but you wouldn't know it in Manteca: The city set its own record for water use in January with 245 million gallons

Cities up and down the state have been asked to reduce water use by 20%, but not only did Manteca not cut back, they used more than normal.

"I believe it because you would see people running their sprinklers and the water running in the gutter," one resident said.

A dry January meant more people were watering their lawns; it may be the reason why so many of them are green today.

"Well I think we should probably cut back, but I'm not going to let my lawn die," said another Manteca resident.

To give you an idea of what 245 million gallons of water looks like: 71,000 people live in the city of Manteca. That means for each person they were using 12, one gallon water jugs everyday for the entire month of January.

It's this eye popping number that leads some to believe the city needs to enforce rules to stop the waste.

"They will come and give you a ticket for having your garbage can out in your front yard and not in the back, but they won't do anything about people over watering," said Tina Acosta, a resident of Manteca for over 20 years.

Councilman Steve DeBrum says the record is not one Manteca is proud of and adds the city will review its water use policies in two weeks.

"We all want to be good stewards of the land and [make] sure that we're doing the correct thing in our community to try and make a difference to protect this precious water supply," DeBrum said.

The city is also looking at programs that pay homeowners to rip up grass and put rocks down instead.

Other pay-back programs for installing low-flow toilets, as well as new irrigation for city parks, are also now being discussed.

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