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San Diego On Track For One Of The Driest Years On Record

No Water Restrictions Planned For 2014

Evening Edition

San Diego might get a trace of rain this weekend, according to the National Weather Service, but it’s not likely to veer us off course for being one of the driest years on record.

Aired 11/14/13 on KPBS News.

San Diego may get a trace of rain this weekend, according to the National Weather Service, but it’s not likely to veer us off course for being one of the driest years on record.

Just 3.6 inches of rain have fallen in San Diego since Jan. 1 -- one of the smallest amounts of precipitation to date since record keeping began more than 150 years ago.

San Diego County Water Authority

Map of San Diego County's water sources.

November is usually the start of the region’s rainy season, but a stubborn ridge of high pressure has pushed any potential storms away.

Despite the dry weather, there are no mandatory water restrictions in San Diego County planned, said Dana Friehauf, principal water resource specialist with the San Diego County Water Authority.

"Because we’ve made investments in Southern California in storage, and the Water Authority’s made investments in our Colorado River transfers, and also demands are down," Friehauf explained. "So we don’t anticipate having shortages in 2014."

Water officials had to tap into reserves this year, for the first time in five years, to meet demand.

Southern California’s largest reservoir, Diamond Valley Lake located in Hemet, is at a healthy 73 percent of capacity. But many Northern California reserves are far below where they should be.

"One of the key issues here is that we have been relying on storage and if we are not able to replenish those storage levels, then we could be in more serious conditions if we don’t – eventually we need a wet year in order to fill those – replenish those reservoirs," said Friehauf.

Friehauf urged residents and businesses to use water wisely to keep demand low and storage high.

"If we don’t get a wet year in the 2015 time frame, then we could be in a serious condition where we may have shortages," Friehauf warned.

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