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As San Diego's temperatures soar, be sure your water use isn't soaring by using water resources efficiently. Photo: DaveJessica - Creative Commons License use water resources efficiently

San Diego Region Expects Sizzling Summer Heat

Water Authority offers tips to keep things cool while using water resources efficiently

The first major heat wave of summer 2018 in the San Diego region arrived Friday, and it is expected to continue through the weekend. Temperatures hit a record 111 degrees in communities including El Cajon, Escondido, and Ramona on Friday. The City of San Diego reached 93 degrees. There won’t be much relief on the beaches, as Coronado’s forecasted high on Saturday is 83 degrees.

Heat records set in San Diego and around the world

Red-hot temperatures are a worldwide trend, including in the San Diego region. The National Weather Service reports 53 of the last 56 months have been hotter than normal at the official weather station at Lindbergh Field.

San Diego's temperatures show an upward trend overall.

San Diego’s temperatures show an upward trend overall.

All time heat records have already been set this week from Denver to Tbilisi, Georgia. Record heat is to blame for at least 33 deaths in and around Montreal, Quebec.

Whether or not the San Diego region will break its record high temperatures of 2017 this year, it is important for residents to use WaterSmart practices which help you use water resources efficiently during the peak water-use months.

The San Diego County Water Authority offers several tips for making the most of the region’s water supplies. They include:

  1. Check your landscaping’s irrigation system

Inspect irrigation equipment to eliminate overspray. Monitor soil moisture using a spade or soil probe, and only water if the top inch of soil is dry. Irrigate turf if it doesn’t spring back when stepped on. Better yet, upgrade to a “smart” irrigation controller that automatically adjusts water times based on weather conditions. Rebates on irrigation equipment are at

  1. Water your mature trees correctly

Water mature trees like this mesquite tree slowly and deep into its roots. Photo: Water Authority Use water resources efficiently

Water mature trees like this mesquite tree slowly and deep into its roots. Photo: Water Authority

Irrigate mature trees once or twice a month using a soaker hose or drip system toward the edge of the tree canopy – not at the base of the tree. Use a hose faucet timer (found at hardware stores) to prevent overwatering. Young trees need more frequent irrigation; consult an arborist or tree-care manual for details.

  1. Refresh your compost and mulch

Keeping a 3-inch layer of mulch around trees and plants reduces runoff, helps control weeds and protects soil from direct sunlight and evaporation. Keep mulch at least a foot away from tree trunks and several inches from the crowns of plants. Also, add compost to increase soil nutrients.

  1. Refrigerate drinking water

Your lorikeet can get its drinking water this way. You should fill your reusable water bottles and chill them in the refrigerator for your cold drinking water. Photo Wade Tregaskis - Creative Commonsn License

Your lorikeet can get its drinking water this way. You should fill your reusable water bottles and chill them in the refrigerator for your cold drinking water. Photo Wade Tregaskis – Creative Commons License

Keep drinking water cool in your refrigerator to avoid running the tap. Use refillable water bottles instead of buying disposable plastic bottles.

  1. Put a lid on it

Pool and spa covers reduce evaporation, lower pool heating costs and keeping out dirt and debris.

  1. Take a gardening break from the heat

New plants need more water to get established, so wait until fall or winter for planting to take advantage of cooler temperatures and rainfall.

  1. Watch the grass grow

Let your grass grow longer in the summer. Photo: PhotoMix - Creative Commons License using water resources efficiently

Let your grass grow longer in the summer. Photo: PhotoMix – Creative Commons License

Set your mower to leave grass at least three inches high, because taller blades of grass can reduce evaporation up to 80 percent and protect your roots from heat. And don’t water during the hottest part of the day. The ground can be so hot, roots may literally cook themselves in hot irrigation water.

  1. Treat your vehicles to an efficient car wash

Patronize car washes that recycle water and save at least 15 gallons each time. When washing at home, use a hose nozzle that shuts off when you release the handle.

  1. Rinse your produce the right way

Rinse your fresh fruits and vegetables in a bowl, then use the water on your indoor plants. Photo: McBeth, Creative Commons License Use water resources efficiently

Rinse your fresh fruits and vegetables in a bowl, then use the water on your indoor plants. Photo: McBeth, Creative Commons License

Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water instead of under a running water tap. Use the bowl of water afterward to water your house plants or outdoor container plants.

  1. Go to summer school

Learn more tips and best practices on how residents and businesses can use water most efficiently, including WaterSmart Landscaping Videos on Demand from the comfort of your beach chair or sofa, plus information on rebates, classes and other water-saving resources to help you keep your cool on your water use this summer at



New California Water Plan Aimed At Boosting Fish Habitat

California water officials on Friday released a plan to increase flows through a major central California river, an effort that would save salmon and other fish but deliver less water to farmers in the state’s agricultural heartland. It’s the latest development in California’s long-running feud between environmental and agricultural interests and is likely to spark lawsuits. “The State Water Resources Control Board’s decision today is the first shot fired in the next chapter of California’s water wars,” warned Democratic Assemblyman Adam Gray of Merced, who represents San Joaquin Valley communities that rely on diversion from the river for water supply.

SF Would Face New Limits Under State Water Proposal

California water officials announced an ambitious plan Friday to revive some of the state’s biggest rivers, a move that seeks to stave off major devastation to wetlands and fish, but on the back of cities and farms. San Francisco, as well as numerous urban and agricultural water suppliers, under the plan would face new limits on how much water it draws from the San Joaquin River and its tributaries in the Sierra Nevada.

Drought Conditions Spread Over State

Sixteen days into summer, with wildfires raging over the bone-dry landscape and more scorching hot days ahead, it might feel as if California is on the verge of another drought. The official word from weather authorities shows much of the state trending in that direction. Abnormally dry or drought conditions prevail over 85 percent of California, including the coast from Monterey County to the Oregon border, the U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday. Nearly all of Lake County and parts of eastern Napa and Mendocino counties are now in moderate drought, authorities said.

A Dangerous Heat Wave Threatens Millions Of People In California And The Southwest

A dangerous heat wave is expected to grip California and parts of the southwest Friday and into the weekend, threatening millions of people and likely fueling existing wildfires. More than 25 million people are under excessive heat watches, warnings or advisories, including in Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Phoenix metro areas. The scorching heat will bring triple-digit temperatures to Los Angeles, where the mercury is forecast to reach 105 degrees on Friday and 100 on Saturday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. Over a dozen record highs are forecast to be broken Friday afternoon across California.

OPINION: Why California Needs A Plan To Protect Its Wetlands

Californians have long valued our last remaining wetlands, which represent less than 10 percent of our once-rich natural endowment. In 1993, Republican governor Pete Wilson issued an executive order declaring a state policy not only of “no net loss,” but of long-term net gain, in the quality and quantity of wetlands. Yet 25 years later, protection of these special places remains at risk because the state has failed to create an effective wetlands protection program. If California could rely on federal law, we wouldn’t need our own program. In 1993, it looked like the federal Clean Water Act might do the job.

Southern California Sets All-Time Heat Records As Broiling Conditions Bring Misery

Many parts of Southern California hit new high-temperature marks Friday, with a few spots reaching the hottest readings ever recorded. Among the places that set all-time records were Van Nuys Airport (117 degrees), Burbank Airport (114), Santa Ana (114) and Ramona (115), according to the National Weather Service. Riverside tied its all-time high temperature of 118. Downtown Los Angeles hit a new high for the day, at 108. Long Beach Airport hit 108 and Woodland Hills, 118. The heat wave will continue this weekend, but forecasters said Friday marked the peak.

Sacramento Report: Soda Taxes Are Dead, But Water Tax Isn’t

The new state budget came with a last-minute deal that prevents new local taxes on soda through 2030 but doesn’t close the door to new taxes on drinking water. Gov. Jerry Brown and others had been pushing to add a new $1 fee to water bills that would help provide safe drinking water to more than 300,000 Californians in mostly rural areas. There wasn’t a “water tax” in the state budget, but some folks expect the issue could come back up later this year, in part because Brown continues to support it.

All-Time High Temperature Records Set Throughout Southern California, Including Los Angeles

As predicted, new daily, monthly and all-time record highs were set throughout Southern California on Friday because of a monster heat dome sprawled over the region. The temperature at UCLA soared to 111 degrees, the hottest ever recorded there, surpassing the previous record of 109 degrees, set Sept. 20, 1939, the National Weather Service reported. Records at UCLA date back to 1933. While the temperature at UCLA set an all-time record, the high in downtown Los Angeles, 108 degrees, fell short of its all-time mark of 113 from September 2010. Still, the 108-degree reading crushed the July 6 daily record of 94, set in 1992.

Southern California’s Heat Wave Puts The Power Grid Under Pressure

Summer’s first heat wave has Southern California utility officials and managers of the state’s electric grid working to make sure the power system doesn’t wilt. A high-pressure system is forecast to send temperatures as high as 118 in areas of Riverside County, and parts of the coast could hit 100 degrees this weekend. Cooler temperatures aren’t expected to return until the middle of next week.