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Politics

San Diego Used Less Water In November

A house is reflected in a puddle of water from an irrigated front yard in San Diego, July 9, 2014.
Associated Press
A house is reflected in a puddle of water from an irrigated front yard in San Diego, July 9, 2014.

California Water Resources Control Board released monthly water-use numbers

San Diego Used Less Water In November
Numbers released Tuesday from the California Water Resources Control Board show the city of San Diego reduced its water use from an average of 76 gallons a day per household in October to 64.5 gallons a day in November.

The city of San Diego reduced its daily water use from an average of 76 gallons per household in October to 64.5 gallons in November, according to numbers released Tuesday by the California Water Resources Control Board.

The city's monthly average also was down slightly year-over-year, with water use at 64.9 gallons a day in November 2013.

Mandatory Water Restrictions

• Watering lawns three days a week, and limited to seven minutes per station in November through May.

• Residences with odd-numbered addresses can water on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

• Residences with even-numbered addresses can water on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

• Apartments, condominiums and businesses can water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

• Must use hoses with shut-off nozzles or timed-sprinkler systems to provide water to landscaped areas.

• Wash vehicles only before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. in November through May.

• Water potted plants, vegetable gardens and fruit trees before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

• No watering lawns or plants on rainy days.

• Ornamental fountains must be turned off except for repairs.

The drop in water use coincided with San Diego beginning mandatory water restrictions on Nov. 1, 2014. Water use also typically drops in colder months.

In November, the city recorded 1.25 inches of rain, slightly more rainfall than the November average of 1.13 inches, the water resources board said.

At the start of November, the city moved to "drought alert status," which meant recommended water conservation measures were made mandatory. Those include limits on when sprinklers can run and when plants can be watered. Ornamental fountains also must be turned off except for repairs.

In November, the city had not yet hired extra staff to proactively look for people breaking water rules, and was relying mostly on residents, water meter readers and Retired Senior Volunteer Patrols to report rule-breakers. The city has since hired three provisional employees to respond to water-use complaints. Those provisional employees can fill in for 90 days while the city hires four new field representatives.

The city already has two field representatives and another employee who respond to water waste complaints.

San Diego remained low on the list of biggest water users in the state. In November, it was 322nd out of 398. In October, it was 326th.

The Rancho Santa Fe neighborhood in unincorporated San Diego County remained third on the list of biggest residential per capita water users, behind the Riverside Highland Water Co. in Grand Terrace near Riverside and the Golden State Water Co. in Cowan Heights near Anaheim.

In September, Rancho Santa Fe was first on the list and made national news with a story in The New York Times.

Rancho Santa Fe residents used an average of 377 gallons a day in November, down from an average of 518 gallons of water a day in October and 584 gallons a day in September.