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San Diego County's Water Use Soars Amid Drought

San Diego County water use in 2015 compared to 2014.
San Diego County Water Authority
San Diego County water use in 2015 compared to 2014.
San Diego County's Water Use Soars Amid Drought
San Diego County's Water Use Soars Amid Drought
San Diego County's Water Use Soars Amid Drought GUESTS:Halla Razak, director, San Diego's Public Utilities Department Dennis Cushman, assistant general manager, San Diego County Water Authority

WATER USE MUST BE REDUCED BY 25% IN REDUCED TO A DROP. WATER AGENCIES NOW GETTING A BETTER IDEA HOW THAT MEANT IT WILL AFFECT THEM. IT TURNS OUT NOT EVERYBODY IS HAPPY ABOUT THE WAY THE WATER RESTRICTIONS ARE BEING APPLIED. THOSE PEOPLE INCLUDE THE LEADERS OF THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY WHO WILL BE FILING SOME FORMAL COMMENTS WITH THE STATE WATER BOARD. JOINING THE IN STUDIO IS DENNIS CUSHMAN HIS ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER FOR THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY AND DENNIS THANK YOU FOR COMING IN. GOOD AFTERNOON. DENNIS EARLIER THIS WEEK THE WATER BOARD PROPOSED CONSERVATION GUIDELINES FOR WATER DISTRICTS THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA. IN SAN DIEGO DOES NOT QUITE 25% REDUCTION FOR ALL. THERE'S A BIT OF A RANGE. WHAT KIND OF CUTS ARE THEY REQUIRING IT LOCAL AGENCIES? THE PROBLEM WITH THE REGULATIONS THE STATE BOARD HAS TAKEN A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACH TO CONSERVATION ACROSS ALL OF CALIFORNIA. HERE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY THEY HAVE PROPOSED MANDATED RESTRICTIONS ON ONE OF OUR RETAIL WATER AGENCIES OF 35% REDUCTIONS. TO SOME ARTHUR -- SUMMER 35% OF SUMMER 25%? WITH ABOUT 35%, 25% AND 20%. THE MAIN PROBLEM IS NONE OF THOSE FIGURES ACCOUNT FOR THE FACT THAT WE HAVE ALREADY REDUCED PER CAPITA SINCE 1990. WE WILL GO INTO THAT LITTLE BIT FURTHER. NOW YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE THINGS THAT YOU DON'T LIKE ABOUT THE MIDDAY. WE NEED TO BE VERY CLEAR. WE ALL NEED TO DO MORE TO CONSERVE WATER. WE ARE IN FULL AGREEMENT WITH THE GOVERNOR, WHERE FULL AGREEMENT WITH THE STATE BOARD THAT THE GOAL IS TO REDUCE WATER USE EVEN MORE. EVEN ON TOP OF THE TERRIFIC WATER CONSERVATION WE HAVE DONE IS A COMMUNITY IN SAN DIEGO. THE MATTER WHICH THE AIRPLANE THESE REGULATIONS IS AGAIN A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL. IT TAKES INTO ACCOUNT NONE OF THE INVESTMENTS WE'VE MADE IN SAN DIEGO IN CONSERVATION OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES BUT IT TAKES INTO ACCOUNT NONE OF THE CONSERVATION SUCCESS, TAKES AN ACCOUNT NONE OF THE BILLIONS WE HAVE INVESTED IN MORE RELIABLE WATER SUPPLIES FOR SAN DIEGO COUNTY. YOU ARE SAYING , SOME SECULAR SAINT THERE SHOULD BE A REGULATORY BREAK FOR SAN DIEGO IF WE HAVE IN FACT ATTESTED A LOT OF MONEY IN WATER CONSERVATION AND INVESTED A LOT OF TIME AND MONEY IN ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF WATER. THAT IS RIGHT. THE BASELINE THAT THEY ARE GOING TO MEASURE THESE 25%, 20%, 35% REDUCTIONS AGAINST IS 2013. SAN DIEGO HAD ALREADY DONE AND ACCOMPLISHED REMARKABLE WATER CONSERVATION BEFORE 2013 AT ALL OF THAT IS IGNORED. WE'RE BEING TREATED LIKE A COMMITTEE IN CALIFORNIA THAT HAS DONE NO CONSERVATION THAT HAS TO MAKE THOSE KINDS OF INVESTMENTS AND THAT IS WRONG. USING THE SAN DIEGO IS DONE A GOOD JOB OF CONSERVATION I AM SURE THAT IS TRUE BUT WE DID JUST LEARNED THAT SAN DIEGO COUNTY INCREASED ITS WATER USE SINCE 20 13 X 13% PARKING THEN DOESN'T THAT MEAN WE NEED TO REDUCE? EVEN WITH THE INCREASING NEED TO LOOK AT 17 STRAIGHT MONTHS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY OF MUCH HOTTER THAN NORMAL TEMPTRESS. MARCH 2015 THE HOTTEST MARCH ON RECORD IN SAN DIEGO GO BACK TO THE GOLDRUSH ERA. WE ARE DEALING WITH INCREDIBLY CHALLENGING HYDROLOGIC LOW RAIN FALL, HIGH TEMPERATURES BUT EVEN WITH THOSE MODEST INCREASES WE'RE STILL 20% LOWER THAN WE WERE IN 2007. 20% LOWER THAN 2007. THAT IS NOT BEING ACCOUNTED FOR IN THESE PROPOSED REGULATIONS. I ASSUME YOUR POINT IS THAT SAN DIEGO IS DOING BETTER THAN THE REST OF CALIFORNIA. WERE CERTAINLY DO BETTER THAN A LOT OF PORTIONS OF CALIFORNIA. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, THROW SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HAS DONE A FAMOUS JOB OF WATER CONSERVATION, URBAN WATER CONSERVATION , AGRICULTURAL WATER CONSERVATION OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES. THAT HAS NOT BEEN MATCHED BY OTHER AREAS OF THE STATE YET THOSE ERRORS ARE GOING TO BENEFIT BY OUR INVESTMENTS THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO BENEFIT OUR RESIDENTS, OUR RATEPAYERS IN OUR ECONOMY. GIVE A FEW MORE EXAMPLES OF WHAT SAN DIEGO HAS DONE TO INCREASE ITS WATER SUPPLY AND TO STORE WATER. PERHAPS THE POSTER CHILD EXAMPLE WOULD BE CARLSBAD. THE CITY OF CARLSBAD HAS BEEN ON THE LEADING EDGE OF ADVOCATING THE DEPARTMENT OF THE CARLSBAD WATER ACCELERATION PROJECT. IT IS THE HOST CITY FOR AN INDUSTRIAL WATER PLANT RIGHT ON ITS COAST. IT IS A MODEL CITY FOR WATER CONSERVATION , IT IS A MODERN CITY WITH MODERN PLUMBING, HIGH-EFFICIENCY PLUMBING AND A TREMENDOUS MANUFACTURING BASE. THEY'VE IN ORDER TO CUT 35%. AGAIN, IGNORING THE INVESTMENT AND SUPPLY IN CONSERVATION. I SUPPOSE YOU COULD ALSO MENTION THE IMPERIAL WATER DISTRICT DEAL THAT SAN DIEGO HAS A DEAL WITH, THE WATER TRANSFER DEAL THAT IS ONE THING IN TERMS OF STORAGE, WHAT IS SAN DIEGO DONE TO IMPROVE STORAGE? MAC THE WATER TRANSFERS DISCONNECT THE WATER TRANSFERS OF MORE COLORADO WATER PURCHASED OVER THE -- WE'VE INVESTED $2 BILLION OF OUR MONEY IN EXPANDING STORAGE INTERCONNECTING OUR STORAGE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY. WE DEDICATED THE -- LAST JULY. THAT WAS A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO WHO OWNS THE RESERVOIR IN THE DAM. WILL MORE THAN DOUBLE THE CAPACITY OF THE RESERVOIR. WE HAVE ADDED 90,000 FEET ELSEWHERE ANOTHER SAN DIEGO COUNTY. WE'VE DONE A LOT OF BEST NOT ONLY MORE RELIABLE SUPPLIES BUT MORE RELIABLE INFRASTRUCTURE. I WAS SURPRISED TO HEAR AND I THINK I HEARD THIS FROM YOUR COUNTY AGENCY THAT AGRICULTURE IN SAN DIEGO IS ALSO SUBJECT TO A 25% REDUCTION. IS THAT CORRECT? ACTUALLY MOST OF OUR AGRICULTURAL WATER HAVE BEEN GIVEN 35% TARGET REDUCTIONS. MAKE ABOUT THAT AGRICULTURE WAS EXEMPT FROM THESE MANDATES NOTES FOR THE GOVERNOR. THAT IS ANOTHER CALLED GETTING FACTOR. AGRICULTURE AND CENTRAL VALLEY IS EXEMPT FROM AGRICULTURE IN IMPERIAL VALLEY IS EXEMPT BUT THEY HAD MADE NO DISTINGUISHING ACCOUNTING FOR A $2 BILLION AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY IN SANDY GO COUNTY. THEY'RE TREATING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY I COULD IS A FRONT LAWN OF SOMEONE'S HOUSE. EXACTLY THE SAME. IN OTHER WORDS COMMITTEES LIKE RAMONA, FALLBROOK THAT HAVE A FAIR AMOUNT OF AGRICULTURE, THEY ARE BEING AFFECTED BY THIS? YES. WE'VE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH ERIC AT THE FARM BUREAU IN DISCUSSIONS WITH THE PROBLEMS OF THESE PROPOSED REGULATIONS. THEY WOULD BE DEVASTATING TO AGRICULTURE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY. JUST WANTED TO MENTION THAT ON THE DAY EDITION WE WERE NOT ABLE TO GET THE STATE WATER BOARD TO RESPOND TO THESE CRITICISMS THAT IN OUR REPORTING WE WILL EXPLORE COMBATIVE TIME GOES ON. WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP? WHAT CAN YOU DO BUT THIS? MAC THE STATE BOARD -- WE AGREE WITH THE CONSERVATION GOAL , OUR CONCERNS WERE GOING TO PUT IN LATE -- WRITING EVERYONE'S CONCERNS, FORMAL COMMENTS ARE DUE ON MONDAY. WILL PROVIDE THOSE TO THE STATE BOARD ON MONDAY AND THEN WE ARE GOING TO WORK VERY HARD WITH THE OFFICIALS, THE VERY HARD-WORKING OFFICIALS OF THE STATE BOARD TO REFINE WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND REFOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON THE OUTDOOR ORNAMENTAL LANDSCAPING, OUR YARDS, THE LANDSCAPE OUTSIDE OF OUR BUSINESSES, NOT AFFECT THE WATER PRODUCTION, WATER PROCESSES INSIDE OF OUR BUSINESSES. INSIDE OF OUR BUSINESSES AND YOU'RE NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT AGRICULTURE THEIR RIGHT? YOU WANT TO PROTECT THIS THIS IS SUCH AS HIGH-TECH AS THIS IS THAT USE A LOT OF WATER IN THEIR INDUSTRY. THE NUMBER ONE PRODUCER OF OUR ECONOMY IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S MANUFACTURING. IT INCLUDES HIGH-TECH, LOOKUP WHILE MET, -- BIOMED TECHNOLOGY. THESE ARE PROPOSED TO CUT WATER SUPPLY THAT IS USED IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES INTO MEANS JOBS IN OUR ECONOMY. FAMILY WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ACHING SURE THE STATE GOALS ARE MET? IS THAT YOU, THE LOCAL WATER AUTHORITY? MAC IT IS GOING TO FALL ON THE HEELS OF OUR RETAIL WATER AGENCIES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY. THAT IS WHERE THE ACCOUNTABILITY IS GOING TO COME FROM THE STATE FOR. WE ARE WORKING AS THE WHOLESALER WORKING WITH OUR MEMBER AGENCIES AS REGIONAL AGENCIES TO ENSURE SAN DIEGO'S VOICE IS HEARD AT THE STATE BOARD. WE WILL SPEND A LOT OF TIME IN SACRAMENTO TRYING TO PERSUADE THEM TO DEFINE THEIR APPROACH. AGAIN WE ALL MUST DO MORE TO CONSERVE WATER. THAT IS A LAUDABLE AND SHARED GOAL. IT IS HOW WE GET THERE AND HOW WE RECOGNIZE INVESTMENTS THE COMMITTEE SAID MADE IN RELIABILITY. YOU ARE LISTENING TO MIDDAY IN ADDITION. I'M SPEAKING WITH DENNIS CUSHMAN , ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER FOR THE SAN DIEGO WATER AUTHORITY. I WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME HALLA RAZAK WHO IS THE DIRECTOR OF SAN DIEGO'S PUBLIC UTILITIES DEPARTMENT. HALLA THANK YOU FOR COMING IN. I HATE TO PUT YOU ON THE SPOT BUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THESE ARGUMENTS GIVEN BY DENNIS THAT DISTRICTS CLUB DONE A GOOD JOB OF CONSERVING AND CREATING NEW WATER SOURCES SHOULD BE REGULATED IN A DIFFERENT WAY? I WANT TO START BY SAYING, WE ARE LIVING IN A VERY DIFFICULT TIME AS FAR AS DROUGHT GOES. THIS IS A HISTORIC DROUGHT, THE STATE IS REALLY GRAPPLING TRIED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO AND HAVING 5% OF THE AVERAGE SNOWPACK RIGHT NOW IS REALLY A HISTORIC SITUATION. FROM THE CITY'S PERSPECTIVE WE'RE GOING TO DO EVERYTHING WE POSSIBLY CAN TO HELP THE STATE AND THE GOVERNOR HELP US SURVIVE TO THAT. DENNIS TALKED ABOUT SOME OF THE CONCERNS THAT HE HAS AND WE ARE WORKING CLOSELY WITH HIM AND AGREE WITH SOME OF THESE ISSUES BECAUSE WE HERE IN THE REGION HAVE INVESTED A LOT OF MONEY IN CREATING OTHER WATER SUPPLIES AND WANT TO GET SOME CREDIT FOR THEM. AT THE SAME TIME, AS WE ARE FORMULATING THESE COMMENTS AND THESE CONCERNS, WE ARE ALSO FORMULATING ON HOW ARE WE GOING TO BE ABLE TO MEET THE MANDATE THAT WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN. WE HAVE VERY SPECIFIC THINGS WE NEED TO REPORT ON AND MOBILIZING WHATEVER RESOURCES WE NEED TO TO GET THAT GOING. I WANT TO GET INTO THAT IN A MINUTE. ONE MORE QUESTION FOR YOU OR ANOTHER QUESTION FOR YOU DENNIS, IF WATER AGENCIES DO NOT MEET THIS GOAL FROM THE STATE WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES? THE PROPOSED PENALTIES ARE $10,000 A DAY IN FINES OF THE LOCAL RETAIL AGENCIES AND CITIES. THAT WOULD AFFECT HALLA . WE HAD JOINED THE SHOW ACTUALLY JUST ABOUT A WEEK AGO AND IN THAT WEEK WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED OR WHAT HAVE YOU DETERMINED IN TERMS OF THE WAYS IN WHICH SAN DIEGO WILL REDUCE ITS WATER USE? THE STATE HOUSE ASKING THAT WE REPORT OUT ON OUR ENFORCEMENT EFFORT. THEY ARE REQUIRING THAT WE CAMP OF OUR ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS AND TELL THEM HOW MANY COMPLAINTS, WHAT DID WE DO ABOUT THEM AND SO ON. IN ORDER TO RESPOND TO THAT, WE ARE CAMPING UP OUR ENFORCEMENT -- CAMPING UP OUR ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS AND WILL BE MORE PROACTIVE IN DOING THAT'S. IN THE PAST. CONCENTRATING ON THE EDUCATIONAL ASPECT AND WE WILL BE AMPING THAT APPLE OF IT MAKING SURE THAT EDUCATION IS DEFINITELY A PART OF THAT BUT THEN IF WE GIVE A WARNING AT A CERTAIN VIOLATION IS NOT CORRECTED IT IS -- IT MIGHT RESULT IN A CITATION. WE ARE DOING THAT. WE ARE ALSO TALKING TO THE BIGGEST USERS OF WATER IN SAN DIEGO. THE MAYOR JUST HAD A MEETING WITH THE TOP 20 USERS AND TALKING WITH THEM AS TO WHAT CAN THE CITY DUE TO HELP THEM REDUCE THEIR WATER USE. THE TOP 20 USERS WAS AN EXAMPLE? EXPECT THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO IS ACTUALLY THE BIGGEST WATER USER ODYSSEY BECAUSE OF ALL OF THE PARTS THAT WE HAVE. WE HAD THE NAVY, USC THE, COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, SOME OF THE LARGE -- ANOTHER COMPANY THAT USES A LOT OF WATER. THE MEETING WAS VERY AMICABLE ALWAYS EVERYBODY IS CONCERNED AND REALLY INTERESTED IN TRYING TO SEE WHAT THEY CAN DO TO BE HELPFUL. WE WILL BE HAVING MORE MEETINGS. ONE QUESTION I MAY HAVE FOR BOTH OF YOU IS, DOES THE STATE MANDATE IN WHICH LOCAL WATER AGENCIES REDUCE THEIR USE OF WATER OR ARE THEY LOOKING AT THE AMOUNT? DENNIS? THEY HAVE SET SPECIFIC TARGETS, 20%, 25%. THEY HAVE REGULATIONS AND TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN KINDS OF WATER USE OF THEIR IS CERTAINLY A LONG SET OF THOSE. THEY ARE STILL THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPING THESE REGULATIONS. HALLA TO FILL YOU HAVE A LOT OF FLEXIBILITY IN TERMS OF DETERMINING HOW YOU REDUCE WATER USE IN SAN DIEGO? I FEEL I HAVE A LOT OF FLEXIBILITY BUT NOT MUCH CONTROL BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, I AM GOING TO HAVE TO DEPEND ON THE CUSTOMERS TO CUT THEIR WATER USE. WE ARE COMING UP WITH TIPS OF WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO. RIGHT NOW THE WATER USE RESTRICTION, YOU CAN IRRIGATE THREE TIMES A WEEK, SEVEN MINUTES IN EACH STATION. WE'RE ASKING ALL OF OUR CUSTOMERS TO START MOVING TOWARD IRRIGATING ONLY TWICE A WEEK, LIFE MINUTES PER STATION. WE ARE ALSO ASKING FOLKS TO SHORTEN THEIR SHOWERS FROM FIVE MINUTES TO TO SHORTEN THEIR SHOWERS FROM 2:55 MINUTES. KEEP A BUCKET IN YOUR SHOWER AND CLICK THE WARM-UP WATER IN REASON FOR OTHER REASONS WEATHER FOR IRRIGATING THE SHRUBS OUTSIDE OR WHATEVER IT TAKES. PEOPLE NEED TO BE CREATIVE IN TRYING TO REDUCE THEIR WATER USE. ARE PEOPLE GOING TO HAVE TO GET USED TO THE PARKS IN SAN DIEGO BEING A LITTLE BIT OF BROWN? MAC -- WERE LOOKING AT THE RIGHT NOW. AMIR YESTERDAY TALKED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF REDUCING IRRIGATION OF SOME OF THE POCKET PARKS THAT WE HAVE BECAUSE 20% IS A BIG REDUCTION IN WATER USE. WE ARE RIGHT NOW AS A MATTER OF FACT HAVING MEETINGS AS I AM SPEAKING HERE OF WHAT TO DO BECAUSE WE ARE REALLY INTERESTED IN MINIMIZING THE IMPACT ON SAN DIEGO'S. REPLACEMENT PROGRAMS, THAT IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE HAD IN THE PAST RIGHT? HAVE YOU OFFERED REBATES FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE GONE FROM A LAWN TO MORE DROUGHT TOLERANT PLANTS? MAC -- WE HAVE. IT HAS BEEN A SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM. WESTERN BUT A QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS FOR PEOPLE TO APPLY FOR BECAUSE OF THE HIGH INTEREST THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED, THE MONEY RAN OUT. WE WERE ABLE TO FIND ADDITIONAL FUNDING, $200,000 AND WE ARE RESTARTING THE PROGRAM ON APRIL 15 TO COVER THE COMING TWO MONTHS AND THEY'LL BE ANOTHER QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS FOR NEXT FISCAL YEAR. I HEARD HIM SAY HE WANTS HIS WATER REGULATIONS TO FOCUS ON LANDSCAPING, ORNAMENTAL LANDSCAPING IN URBAN AREAS. IN YOUR OPINION HALLA IS A STILL RESPONSIBLE IN THIS DAY AND AGE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TO HAVE A GRASSY LAWN? MAC NOT ORNAMENTAL GRASS AND LAWN. IT IS IN THE FRONT YARD AND THERE ARE NO PEOPLE, IT'S THE ONLY TIME YOU USE YOUR LONG AS WHEN YOU ARE MOWING ITS, THAT ONE PROBABLY NEEDS TO GO. WE ARE A SEMI DESERT AREA AND LAWN SIMPLY DO NOT BELONG IN SAN DIEGO. DENNIS LAST WORD ON LAWNS IS IT RESPONSIBLE TO HAVE A LAWN IN SAN DIEGO? MAC -- HALLA SAID, IF YOU HAVE A LONG YOU'RE GOING TO PLAY SPORTS ON , YOU'RE GOING TO USE AN ACTIVITY THAT IS ONE THING. A FRONT LAWN THAT IS ONLY BEING LOOKED AT IS PROBABLY A THING OF THE PAST IN OUR SOCIETY HERE IN SAN DIEGO. WOMEN TALKING WITH THE STATEMENT IS TO REDUCE WATER USE IN URBAN CALIFORNIA. MICAH 7 DENNIS CUSHMAN AND CONTROL. DENNIS'S ASSISTANT MANAGER FOR THE SAN DIEGO COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY. THANK YOU DENNIS. HALLA IS DIRECTOR OF THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO'S PUBLIC UTILITIES DEPARTMENT. HALLA , THANK YOU.

San Diego County’s Water Use Soars Amid Drought
Despite long-standing calls for cutbacks, San Diego County’s overall water use in February soared 13 percent higher than for the same period in 2013.

Despite long-standing calls for cutbacks, San Diego County’s overall water use in February soared 13 percent higher than for the same period in 2013, the baseline year the State Water Resources Control Board uses for comparison to compile monthly reports.

“And that’s because generally it was a lot hotter and a lot drier in 2015 than it was in 2013,” said Dana Friehauf, water resources manager for the San Diego County Water Authority.

Friehauf said when comparing the figures to last year, the region’s water use was down 4 percent. “Nowhere near our target, but at least it shows progress.”

She added: “We look to 2014 because the weather patterns, the rainfall and temperature were more similar to 2014.”

When temperatures rise, so does water use. This past February was nearly 7 degrees warmer on average at San Diego Lindbergh Field than February 2013, according to data from the National Weather Service, though both months received about a half of an inch of rainfall.

Friehauf said either way you look at the numbers, the county’s overall water use falls far short of the conservation goal.

“It sends a strong signal to the communities throughout San Diego County that they need to conserve,” she said. “Each and every one of our residents and businesses need to conserve if we’re going to make it through this drought.”

San Diego has received 1.63 inches of rain at Lindbergh Field since Jan. 1 — or 4.6 inches below the average for this period.

Local reservoirs, which account for 5 percent to 10 percent of the county’s water supply, have dropped to 41 percent of capacity. More troubling is the Sierra snowpack, at 5 percent of average, which provides up to a fifth of San Diego County’s water and a third of the state’s supply.

February's water report comes a week after Gov. Jerry Brown stood in a brown Sierra Mountain field normally covered in snow and called on urban water users statewide to cut back their consumption by 25 percent.

Water officials on Tuesday released a draft report on how the rules would be enforced.

RELATED: Mayor Faulconer: San Diego Will Beef Up Water Enforcement Amid Drought

According to the Climate Prediction Center, the region's extreme drought is expected to intensify as the region enters its hottest and driest months of the year, carrying a four-year deficit of more than a foot of rain.

Corrected:
Hosts Tom Fudge and Peggy Pico and producer Megan Burke contributed to this report.