The City of Porterville water system is municipally-owned with more than 14,800 service connections, 99% of which are metered, serving a population of over 51,500, with approximately 1,100 service connections outside the city limits. Water supplies for the City system are produced entirely from groundwater underlying the City, which is recharged from rainfall and runoff of the Western Sierra Nevada. The major stream contributing to recharge of the Tule Basin Aquifer underlying Porterville is the Tule River.
Storage capacity represents over six million gallons within the distribution system and three hillside reservoirs, two with a capacity of three-million gallons and one with a capacity of three hundred thousand gallons.
A telemetry system controls the operation of 22 of the City's 35 active well pumps to maintain system pressure under varying loads. The water levels in the reservoirs are also monitored and controlled by the computerized telemetry control system.
Water conservation and awareness have always been areas of concern for the Porterville community. Less than normal rainfall and runoff makes efforts to promote water conservation a high priority. In addition to the benefits of conserving water as a limited natural resource, additional benefits accrue to the community in the form of a reduced impact on the Wastewater Treatment Plant and a reduction in energy costs when water supplies are conserved.
It is vitally important that the Water Conservation Plan be a joint partnership between the City and the General Public in order to achieve optimal effect. The Plan has been developed in three phases with each phase defined in terms of the available water supply:
- Phase I : Applies during periods when a normal water supply is available.
- Phase II: Applies during periods when there is a water supply shortage.
- Phase III: Applies during periods when there is a severe water supply shortage.
Actions within each phase have been defined as either actions to be undertaken by the City or by the General Public. Due to the number of variables which affect the water conditions in existence at any one point in time, a City staff analysis of those variables will be utilized in determining the transition of the City from one phase to a more (or less) stringent phase. At such time as staff determines that water supply conditions warrant a phase change, staff will present the request to the City Council for their approval.
This plan differs from other valley community plans because the City of Porterville is in a more favorable position of having almost all of its water customers metered, which allows the City to basically control the water conservation program.
CURRENT WATER CONSERVATION LEVEL - PHASE II