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San Diego County Water Authority Adopts Voluntary Conservation Guidelines

Credit: Jeff Raftery / Flickr

A water drop forms on the rim of a leaking tap.

Aired 2/14/14 on KPBS News.

In light of the statewide drought, the San Diego County Water Authority has approved some voluntary conservation guidelines.

At a special board meeting, the San Diego County Water Authority unanimously approved a package of voluntary restrictions, aimed at reducing water consumption.

Despite nearly three years of low rainfall, San Diego's supply is much more substantial than in many other parts of California.

How Much Water Do You Use?

Use the Save Our Water organization's water-use calculator to determine your monthly use.

That's partly because since 2007, local ratepayers have cut water consumption by 27 percent.

Board Chair Tom Wornam said because consumers have been so conscientious, mandatory restrictions aren’t necessary.

“So we’re already ahead of the state with our reduced use," Wornam explained. "We’ve already spent $2 billion of the ratepayers’ money as our partners in making sure that we have water in San Diego, in our region, which would reduce the amount of water we need to cut back during a drought.”

The guidelines ask San Diegans to irrigate only before 10am and after 6pm. They also are being advised to avoid over-watering, and are requested not to wash driveways or sidewalks unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Board officials say they’ll reevaluate the situation as the year progresses. Officials say as it stands now, San Diego has enough water stored to last the year, even if rainfall remains below normal.

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