MAYOR PROPOSES MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTIONS

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By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2014 (San Diego) – San Diego city residents may soon have mandatory water restrictions.  Mayor Kevin Faulconer has proposed that the city move to drought alert status.  If approved by the City Council, drought alert status would impose limits on when residents can wash cars, water lawns, gardens and other plants, among other restrictions.

Mayor Faulconer thanked San Diegans for their efforts to conserve water.  San Diegans cut water use by 5.7 percent in September, but that’s not enough.  The Mayor said that unless consistent rainfall returns by next year, things could go “from bad to worse.”

Reservoirs that supply the city of San Diego are at just 44 percent of capacity and the San Deigo County Water Authority is at 37 percent. 

Statewide, 81 percent of water agencies have already instituted water use restrictions. Outdoor watering accounts for up to 80% of urban water use in many areas. 

Starting in November, water districts will be required to report how much water residents are using per person, per day.

Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Board, says conservation water is crucial.  “Every gallon saved today postpones the need for more drastic, difficult, and expensive action should the drought continue into next year,” she says, according to the state’s California Drought website. 

She adds, “At a time when hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland lie fallow, communities across the state are running out of water, fish and wildlife are suffering, and no one knows whether it will rain or snow much this winter, it makes good common sense for urban Californians to do what they can to use less water.”