Carson City residents will be on a three-day-a-week watering schedule if city officials approve the new plan at a public hearing next month.
The Carson City Board of Supervisors tentatively approved a revised version of its proposed watering restrictions Thursday. Final approval is scheduled for Sept. 2.
The new watering schedule is voluntary now, but will be enforceable every irrigation season starting June 1 through Oct. 1, 2005.
People with odd-numbered addresses will be permitted to water their lawns before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and people with even-numbered addresses will be allotted Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, excluding Monday as a day of rest.
New lawns are exempt for 21 days if planted any time during the irrigation season, June 1 to Oct. 1.
Water-free Mondays should allow water storage levels to recover, ensuring 4 million to 5 million conserved gallons per week, said Carson City Public Works Director Tom Hoffert.
The new watering schedule will allow for adequate fire suppression, Hoffert said, which was nearly compromised this year by daily resident consumption.
In June, the city restricted water use for 1,000 west side residents when people used more water than the city could produce, dropping storage levels in Kings Canyon and Timberline wells to less than 10 percent.
Before approving the new watering schedule Thursday, the Carson City Board of Supervisors changed the related ordinance to allow a one-hour repair period during no-watering times.
"People should be able to repair on non-watering days," Carson City Supervisor Shelly Aldean said.
Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko said the water consumption rate in Carson City is three times the rate of growth, and the only solution to diminished water storage is an increase in water production.
"The people we serve want greenery," Masayko said. "We need more horsepower to drag the water out of the ground."
He said additional water production is "not the wisest investment," but it is necessary in Carson, where people enjoy lush lawns.
He also said raising water rates during summer months may be needed, but there was no more discussion on possible rate increases.
Carson City Engineer Larry Werner said more conservative watering habits are a step toward ensuring decent water supplies.
"It's really a conservation issue," he said.
The new water rules are voluntary until next June, when they will be enforceable on a case-by-case basis with penalties city officials haven't yet determined, but may include water shut-off and citations.
Hoffert said the city will mail out notifications of the new schedule in months preceding the irrigation season.
Masayko said the thought of automatic water shut-off for residents violating water rules leaves him uneasy.
"I'm not comfortable with a shut off when someone is not in compliance," Masayko said.
He suggested retrofitting homes with the water-saving, low flush toilets.
Werner said state law dictates that all new homes are fitted with low flush toilets, and retrofitting is possible.
Contact Robyn Moormeister at email@example.com or 881-1215.