Urban potable water use in San Diego County declined by approximately 26 percent in June 2015 compared to June 2013, according to preliminary numbers released by the San Diego County Water Authority. That follows a decrease of 30 percent in May compared to May 2013 – an accomplishment that was aided by unusually cool and wet weather.
June was the first month in which the State Water Resources Control Board required compliance with conservation targets set for each local water agency. State-mandated targets for Water Authority member agencies are between 12 and 36 percent below 2013 levels.
“Residents and businesses across San Diego County did a great job saving water in June even though temperatures returned to being higher than normal – but we have to keep it up through the rest of the summer and beyond,” said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “I’m so proud to be part of a community that comes together during difficult situations. Together, we are making a big difference."
Conserved water in San Diego County can remain in storage for future use, a valuable asset should drought conditions continue into 2016 or beyond.
As a wholesale water agency, the Water Authority coordinates drought response actions for the region. The regional drought response strategy centers on decreasing ornamental landscape irrigation first to minimize the economic disruption caused by cuts to water used by industrial, commercial and farming operations. In May, the Water Authority’s Board adopted a set of measures to help local water agencies meet the state’s water-use reduction targets. It included immediately boosting regional conservation and outreach efforts and restricting irrigation of ornamental landscapes with potable water to no more than two days a week across the region. Member agencies have the flexibility to set their own watering days and times.
For information about water-use rules by community, along with details about drought conditions and conservation-related resources, go to www.whenindrought.org.