HESPERIA — School playing fields and civic parks may take on a browner tinge soon as drought restrictions affect their irrigation.
Basically, school grounds and parks in the city “shall be required to irrigate grounds between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., and must regulate their irrigation so that runoff onto streets and sidewalks is eliminated,” according to Hesperia spokeswoman Rachel Molina.
That watering regulation is included in Stage 2 of the Hesperia Water District’s Water Supply Plan. That is taking effect in accord with the State Water Resources Control Board emergency regulation for statewide urban water conservation starting Aug. 1.
“We do most of our watering at night for two reasons,” said Alan Giles, the assistant superintendent of business services for Hesperia Unified School District. The reasons are to avoid loss of water to heat and wind during the day.
“We plan on maintaining our fields,” he said. “We think that’s an important piece of our programs.”
Giles said the school district is working with the Mojave Water Agency to replace “ornamental grass” areas, such as parking strips, to transition to low water-use landscaping.
The expanse of parks may call for a change in irrigation water applied per section.
“Residents may notice the grass isn’t as green as it usually is,” Hesperia Recreation & Park District General Manager Lindsay Woods said.
He explained that with the limited hours for irrigation, one may notice longer watering periods than usual at night to make up for lost watering rotations during the day.
“We’re doing what many homeowners are doing. ... We’re making the adjustments” to drought conditions, Woods said.
Officials look forward to the planned subregional water treatment facility that will provide recycled water for irrigating landscaping at community parks and schools, freeing up potable water for other uses.
Woods said the cost of that water is expected to be lower than the drinkable water currently used.
“Other requirements of the Stage 2 Plan address run-off and wash-down prohibition,” Molina said. A public hearing on this item will be held at the Aug. 5 City Council meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at City Hall, 9700 Seventh Ave. in Hesperia.
Gary Brodeur may be contacted at 760-951-6245 or gbrodeur@vvdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_gbrodeur.