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San Diego Prepares For California’s Mandatory Water Restrictions

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Water Resources

Water conservation tips

Water rebate Ppograms

Current water restrictions for San Diego

Source: City of San Diego

San Diego's green oasis of lawns, parks and yards may soon be replaced with artificial turf, water resistant plants and brown landscape.

Four years of drought, a nearly nonexistent snow pack and the possibility of more dry years ahead prompted Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday to order mandatory water restrictions for the first time in the state's history. Brown ordered the California Water Resources Control Board to impose measures that would reduce the state’s water usage by 25 percent.

Brown’s announcement came after surveyors found the lowest snow level in the Sierra Nevada snowpack in 65 years of record-keeping.

Halla Razak, director of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department, said city staff is examining how to roll out the restrictions locally.

“I received the executive order, a copy of it, through the press release, and immediately told staff to look at what it means for San Diego,” Razak told KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday. “We as a city will be doing everything we can to support the governor.”

Razak said the city has already cut water use by 18 percent since 2007.

“Part of the (governor’s) order is they are going to be looking at the current use per capita,” Razak said. “Hopefully, that cutback (of 25 percent) will be lowered. This will all be determined in the coming weeks.”

Razak said the city will also increase its enforcement of water waste.

A report by Equinox Center, a San Diego-based nonprofit research group, showed that countywide water use rose from 2010 to 2014. Another report released by the center showed that 26 percent of residential water is lost by over-irrigating lawns and landscapes.

Stephen Heverly, managing director, said it’s recommending that public water agencies offer more information about how much water is being used in California.

“We feel that it’s important to include more information on agency websites about how much we’re using and how much we’re conserving as well, so we all have an understanding of what it takes to reach these conservation goals,” Heverly said.

The San Diego County Water Authority, a public agency that supplies water to the region including the city, imposed water restrictions last July. In a statement issued Wednesday, the agency’s chairman, Mark Weston, said it was reviewing Brown’s executive orders.

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