San Diego remains responsive to water conservation calls
San Diego County residents can expect more calls for water conservation, even as local water officials insist the region has enough.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to cut back water use across the board around the state.
“California is facing a drought crisis and every local water agency and Californian needs to step up on conservation efforts,” said Newsom in a statement this week.
State Water Board officials, this week, approved rules starting next month that ratchet down residential water use and keep commercial customers from watering ornamental lawns.
“These conservation measures are increasingly important as we enter the summer months,” Newsom said. “I’m asking all Californians to step up, because every single drop counts.”
The San Diego County Water Authority’s Jeff Stephenson said the local region has access to enough water. Investments in a major desalination plant, a planned water purification plant in San Diego and water deals with Imperial County have secured local supplies, even as the rest of the state deals with drought.
“Despite the fact that we’ve developed the supplies and have the water available, it’s never okay to waste and we’re always moving toward becoming more efficient with that water that we do have,” Stephenson said.
Water managers say more than half of the water consumed in San Diego is used for outdoor watering.
That is one reason the San Diego County Water Authority helps subsidize the transition to landscaping that requires less water.
Climate change is not helping the situation.
“The days are hotter than they used to be,” Stephenson says. “We had less rainfall this past winter. So, it’s really going to depend on how the state responds to the Governor’s call for 15%.”
If the state hits those water-use reduction goals, that may help hold off more onerous mandatory reductions in the future.