Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

San Diego County Has ‘Sufficient’ Water Supplies Through 2045

San Vicente Reservoir in East County is part of San Diego's network of emerge...

Photo by Susan Murphy

Above: San Vicente Reservoir in East County is part of San Diego's network of emergency water storage supplies. It was recently doubled in size to ensure the region has a six month supply of water in the case of an emergency or future drought, though it remains less than half full because of a lack of rainfall, July 16, 2014.

San Diego County Water Authority officials say the region has sufficient supplies to meet the needs of the region through 2045 — even through multiple dry years.

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded a drought emergency declaration from Sonoma and Mendocino counties to 41 counties in northern and central California.

"Governor Newsom's latest drought emergency declaration is a grim reminder of the growing water supply challenges across California — and of the value of three decades of our collective dedication to use water efficiently combined with strategic investments that protect San Diego County from dry years," SDCWA board chair Gary Croucher said Tuesday. "Thanks to efforts of ratepayers, the water authority and our 24 member agencies, we have sufficient water supplies for 2021 and the foreseeable future."

About 30% of the state's population is now covered by the drought declarations, including the greater Sacramento area and Fresno, Merced and Stanislaus counties in the San Joaquin Valley. Southern California has largely been excluded from the declarations.

This is the second major drought California has experienced in a decade. The last one ran from 2012-16.

"With the reality of climate change abundantly clear in California, we're taking urgent action to address acute water supply shortfalls in Northern and Central California while also building our water resilience to safeguard communities in the decades ahead," Newsom said Monday. "We're working with local officials and other partners to protect public health and safety and the environment, and call on all Californians to help meet this challenge by stepping up their efforts to save water."

Croucher said regional adoption of water efficiency measures is a major part of San Diego County's strategy to reduce usage. Per capita water use has fallen by close to 50% in the past 30 years, he said.

"At the same time, the rates we pay for water have been invested in new water sources along with major dams and reservoirs that are showing their worth more with each passing day," Croucher said.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.