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Drought Could Result In Water Reduction Mandates

Water in a sink inside a bathroom at Lake Poway, Dec. 2, 2019.
Matt Hoffman
Water in a sink inside a bathroom at Lake Poway, Dec. 2, 2019.

Continued droughts are forcing the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to ask water agencies to voluntarily conserve water.

Jeff Stephenson, the water resources manager for the San Diego County Water Authority, said the county is decades ahead in conservation practices.

Drought Could Result In Water Reduction Mandates
Listen to this story by Alexandra Rangel.

“Here in San Diego we have a great history of water efficiency. We cut water use per person in half over the last 30 years,” he said.


The supply alert comes a day after the first ever water shortage was reported on the Colorado River.

Although that shortage mostly affects Nevada and Arizona, San Diego does receive 60% of transfer water from the Colorado River.

“What puts us in a better position versus other parts of the state, especially Northern California, is 30 years ago when we started diversifying our water supplies,” Stephenson said.

Over the years, he said San Diego went from having two water supplies to a multitude of sources that include reservoirs, recycled water, and groundwater.

Stephenson said we’ll be facing a real inconvenience if voluntary reductions become state mandates for everyone across the board.


“It’s too soon to tell if that’s going to happen, but if the state were to do that, we’d like them to offer the stress test again so that we can show this model we created that the rest of the state can emulate. That we diversified our supplies and are prepared for droughts,” he said.

Stephenson said we’ll have to wait and see if we’ll be hit with a reduction mandate in the months to come, but for now he encourages San Diegans to continue using water efficiently.

VIDEO:Drought Could Result In Water Reduction Mandates