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San Diegans Urged to Use Less Water in “Level 1” Conservation Plan

In support of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s water conservation efforts following California’s two record-dry years, the San Diego County Water Authority activated its “Level 1,” or Voluntary Conservation of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan.

“We’re trying to achieve a 15% to be consistent with the governor’s request of 15% voluntary conservation. It’s using what you have efficiently and not wasting,” said San Diego County Water Authority Water Resources Manager Jeff Stephenson.

 

Water Authority Prepares for First Level of Shortage Contingency Plan

The San Diego County Water Authority is preparing to activate a voluntary conservation of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan in support of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts to sustain California’s water supply after two record-dry years.

The agency’s 36-member board of directors will decide at its formal monthly meeting on Oct. 28 whether to activate the drought response plan, following Wednesday’s recommendation by staff.

Ramona Farmers, Winery Owners Weather Dry Years with Water Conservation Strategies

Farmers and winery owners in Ramona and other parts of San Diego County are weathering the drought better than their counterparts in Northern California and the Central Valley through a mix of smart water use strategies, adequate water supplies and resources such as free irrigation system evaluations, according to water experts.

One reason local agricultural water users have avoided shortfalls in water supplies is because residents and businesses have been reducing the amount of water they use per person over the last 30 years, said Jeff Stephenson, water resources manager for the San Diego County Water Authority.

Much of California Missing the Mark in Water-Conservation Efforts During Drought

 Months after Governor Gavin Newsom asked Californians to voluntarily cut back on their water use during this severe drought, much of the state is missing the mark.

While the initial data is limited, the Southern California region has so far managed to cut its water consumption by just a tenth of a percent.

Drought Could Result in Water Reduction Mandates

Continued droughts are forcing the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to ask water agencies to voluntarily conserve water.

Jeff Stephenson, the water resources manager for the San Diego County Water Authority, said the county is decades ahead in conservation practices.

“Here in San Diego we have a great history of water efficiency. We cut water use per person in half over the last 30 years,” he said.

The supply alert comes a day after the first ever water shortage was reported on the Colorado River.

Although that shortage mostly affects Nevada and Arizona, San Diego does receive 60% of transfer water from the Colorado River.

“What puts us in a better position versus other parts of the state, especially Northern California, is 30 years ago when we started diversifying our water supplies,” Stephenson said.