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California Drought: New Proposed Water Reduction Plan Released

Revised Water Cuts

Here are the revised water use reductions the state is recommending for San Diego County water districts.

Sweetwater Authority: 12 percent

Otay: 16 percent

San Diego: 16 percent

Escondido: 20 percent

Helix: 20 percent

Oceanside: 20 percent

Lakeside: 24 percent

Vallecitos: 24 percent

Vista: 24 percent

Padre Dam: 28 percent

Ramona: 28 percent

San Dieguito: 28 percent

Carlsbad: 32 percent

Poway: 32 percent

Rincon Del Diablo: 32 percent

Fallbrook: 36 percent

Olivenhain: 36 percent

Rainbow: 36 percent

Santa Fe: 36 percent

Valley Center: 36 percent

California water regulators have released a new proposed plan requiring some cities to reduce water use up to 36 percent, while others won't have to cut their water consumption by as much as initially ordered.

The plan, released Saturday, is in response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order, which directs cities and towns to collectively cut their water use by 25 percent compared to 2013. Originally, San Diego was supposed to cut its use by 20 percent but that's now been lowered to 16 percent.

The State Water Resources Control Board previously announced water use reduction targets for communities based on per-capita use, but many California cities said the plan ignored past conservation efforts.

The new proposal recommends nine "tiers" or categories of cuts, based upon the number of gallons residents use per capita per day during July through September. Most irrigation occurs during the summer months. The water board says those months provide the greatest opportunity to conserve.

Caren Trgovcich, chief deputy director with the water board, says the change better reflects the past conservation efforts of urban water suppliers.

“We acknowledge that there has been significant pre-drought conservation by many water suppliers but more conservation is needed now to address the current drought and the prospect that it continues beyond 2015,” says Trgovcich.

Some urban water suppliers can request to be placed into a lower conservation category, including cities that deliver more than 20 percent of their water to commercial agriculture and those that have a reserve supply of water that could last multiple years.

RELATED: Vigilante Water Cops And Mongolian Showers: How San Diegans Are Saving Water

Agencies that don't take steps to conserve or reduce water use could face fines.

The board will take public comment on the draft and will release revised regulations on April 28. The board will vote on a final plan next month. The rules would take effect in June.

You can find more information about the proposal here.

Water Conservation Tips

• Reduce watering of lawns and outdoor plans to once a week or less.

• Water outdoor plants only in the early morning or evening hours.

• Stop hosing down sidewalks and driveways.

• Turn off fountains and consider draining or stop using residential pools.

• Keep showers under five minutes, turn off the faucet when brushing teeth, capture and reuse cold water that runs while you are warming it up.

• Only run full loads of laundry and dishes in the dishwasher.

• Take your car to a carwash that recycles water. Let the car get dirtier than usual.

• Fix leaky outdoor plumbing like hose bibs and sprinklers.

For more tips and info on saving water, go to saveourwater.com.

Source: State Water Resources Control Board

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