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Almost All San Diego Water Districts Report Decreases In Water Use

A water-efficient sprinkler sprays plants in a Chula Vista yard in this undated photograph.
Katie Schoolov
A water-efficient sprinkler sprays plants in a Chula Vista yard in this undated photograph.

Gallons Of Water Used Per Capita, Per Day In September (Compared to September 2013)

Carlsbad Municipal Water District:

189 (-0.3 percent)

City of Escondido:

99 (-13 percent)

Fallbrook Public Utility District:

200 (-4 percent)

Helix Water District:

101 (-8 percent)

Lakeside Water District:

115 (-10 percent)

City of Oceanside:

101 (-3 percent)

Olivenhain Municipal Water District:

250 (-2 percent)

Otay Water District:

90 (-6 percent)

Padre Dam Municipal Water District:

131 (-9 percent)

City of Poway:

205 (-7 percent)

Rainbow Municipal Water District:

429 (-13 percent)

Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District:

182 (-7 percent)

City of San Diego:

82 (-3 percent)

San Dieguito Water District:

154 (-3 percent)

Santa Fe Irrigation District:

584 (-1 percent)

Sweetwater Authority:

74 (-6 percent)

Vallecitos Water District:

113 (-11 percent)

Valley Center Municipal Water District:

288 (+0.1 percent)

Vista Irrigation District:

116 (-9 percent)

Source: California Water Resources Control Board

The state began releasing data for the first time Tuesday showing how much water is consumed per capita in water districts throughout California. All but one San Diego district recorded decreases in per-capita water use in September.

The report compares the gallons of water residents and businesses used in September to the amount they used during the same time last year. North County farming town Rainbow saw the biggest savings. It cut water use by 13 percent.

Also in the county's agricultural region, Valley Center was the only district to increase its water use — though just a fraction of a percent.


Overall the region used 4 percent less water in September, according to the San Diego County Water Authority. Statewide, there was a 10 percent decrease. Local water officials point out San Diego's recent savings are on top of a 20 percent cut in water use since 2007.

"To sustain the savings that we've had over the last seven years and still add to it in this difficult heat and dryness of 2014 is a remarkable achievement," said Jason Foster, public outreach and conservation director for the regional water authority. "We really want them to keep up that effort."

MORE: Encinitas Resident Conserves Every Drop To Combat Climate Change

Several water districts have adopted restrictions on water use. The city of San Diego's went into effect Saturday.

Water restrictions can include limiting outdoor watering days and times; eliminating runoff from irrigation systems; repairing all leaks within 72 hours; turning off water fountains and other water features unless they use recycled water; using hoses with shut-off valves for washing cars (or patronizing commercial car washes that re-circulate water); serving water to restaurant patrons only on request; offering hotel guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily; and using recycled or non-potable water for construction when available.


You can find restrictions set by your water district here.

Forecasters expect some relief with the winter rains, but expect California won't see enough precipitation to bring the state out of the drought.

Though the state won't have official projections on water supply levels until early next year, Foster said San Diego water officials have been planning for various scenarios, including losing up to 18 percent of the county's water allotment from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

He said diverse water sources, including the Carlsbad desalination plant scheduled to open in late 2015, would cut that gap in half. Boosting existing conservation efforts would likely fill the remaining gap, he said.

On Tuesday, California voters will decide whether to pass a $7.5 billion water bond that aims to better manage the state's water supply.