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Water Board Chair: Conservation Could Prevent Usage Restrictions

San Diego County water managers are preparing to deal with a water shortage next year. That's because of historic dry conditions and an expected reduction in water from the state water project. KPBS r

Water Board Chair: Conservation Could Prevent Usage Restrictions

San Diego County water managers are preparing to deal with a water shortage next year. That's because of historic dry conditions and an expected reduction in water from the state water project. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has details.

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The San Diego County Water Authority is making plans now to deal with tighter water supplies next year. Just how tight depends on a final judicial ruling next month protecting an endangered fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. More than two-thirds of the state relies on water from the Delta.

Water Authority Board Chair Fern Steiner says whether we'll face mandatory restrictions next year depends on the Metropolitan Water District . The agency supplies 70 percent of the county's water.

<b> Steiner </b> : Metropolitan will determine in fact whether it will do a cutback on its water; it has some water in storage. Once we know what they're going to do on their cutback then we'll obviously have to readjust ourselves down here.

She hopes conservation efforts will prevent mandatory restrictions. But a cut in Delta water supplies and another dry year may not give officials any other option.

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Ed Joyce, KPBS News.