The Natural Resource Conservation Division provides guidance, education, and management of the City’s natural resources for the benefit of Visalia’s citizens to help assure adequate water supplies, meet recycling mandates, reduce energy consumption, improve air quality and generally preserve and conserve our limited resources. Additionally, the Division manages the City’s cleanup of contaminated properties and operates the Visalia Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center in partnership with Tulare County.
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT - ACCEPTING APPLICATOINS
The Natural Resource Conservation Division is soliciting applications for two hourly positions.. Submit resume (application must be included) by mail, email, or fax to: Nathan M. Garza, City of Visalia Natural Resource Conservation Division, 425 E. Oak Ave., Suite 101, Visalia, CA 93291; email email@example.com; fax 713-4817. These positions are open until filled.
Please click on the position below for additional information.
Hourly Office Assistant
Hourly Water Conservation Education Coordinator
STATEWIDE DROUGHT EMERGENCY Water Conservation Tips
The City Council discussed actions that Visalia could take in response to the drought at the February 3rd meeting. The state is experiencing the lowest amount of precipitation in history. On January 17, Governor Brown declared a statewide drought emergency in response to the third drought year. The Sierra snowpack, which is by far the City's biggest water reservoir, is only 15% of the normal amount.
While Visalia is currently not in danger of running out of water, agricultural and urban users are pumping water faster than nature can replenish it. The average depth to the groundwater beneath Visalia is at an historical low. If current pace of pumping water continues, eventually there will be insufficient water to sustain our needs.
Visalia has a long history of active stewardship of the City's water resources. The City has had mandatory watering restrictions for over 20 years, an active groundwater recharge program since 2005, and is investing $140 million to upgrade the Water Conservation Plant to turn Visalia's wastewater into high-quality recycled water. Some of this water will be used to irrigate the Valley Oakes Golf Course and Plaza Park; most will be delivered to Tulare Irrigation District for use by farmers in exchange for surface water delivered to the City in wet years for groundwater recharge. The City has planted low-water-use plants and turf in its parks and landscapes and installed smart irrigation controllers.
However, the City Council took a strong position that Visalia can do more in response to the drought emergency, primarily focusing on landscape irrigation which uses nearly two-thirds of the City's water. Some of the potential actions discussed include requesting that residents and businesses reduce their water usage; reducing irrigation at parks and other City landscapes; increasing enforcement of the City's water conservation ordinance; and implementing Stage 4 of the ordinance or modifying the ordinance. Based on the discussion Monday evening and the Council's direction, City staff will work on a comprehensive set of actions for the Council to consider at the first meeting in March.
Residents and businesses are urged to check their irrigation systems to make sure they don't have any leaks, adjust misaligned sprinklers, and are not overwatering. Plants don't need nearly as much water now as in the summer. Bermuda grass is dormant and does not need to be watered during the winter months. Consider reducing lawn size by making beds bigger and planting low-water use plants, and be sure to mulch beds to help keep moisture in the soil and plant roots cooler in the summer. Now is a good time to replace older toilets or clothes washers with new high-efficiency models. We all need to do our part to reduce the amount of water we use so we can get through the drought without needing to take more serious measures.
WINTER GRASS OVER-SEEDING
In Visalia, grass grows spring through fall and becomes dormant in the winter. In the late fall, some residents and businesses choose to over-seed with cool season grasses, such as ryegrass or other similar grasses to produce a temporary winter lawn. Much money, time, and effort goes into establishing and keeping winter lawns. Reduced costs for labor, seed, and fertilizers will result in cost savings plus the additional water needed for cool-season grasses is difficult to justify when water is such a precious resource. Visalia’s water conservation ordinance does not provide exemptions for cool season grass over-seeding.
UTILITY BILLING CHANGE
The City of Visalia has shifted utility billing from Cal Water to Global Fathom. Click on Global Fathom to go to their website. Global Fathom is based in Arizona and is the City’s primary contact for utility services. Hours of operation for phone calls is 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., PST. Toll free number is: 855-203-1315.
Click a link below to learn about some of Visalia's conservation programs