At its September meeting, the Santa Fe Irrigation District Board of Directors supported the General Manager in declaring a Drought Response Level 1, which is a voluntary 10% reduction of water use by customers. This request is in response to worsening water supply conditions throughout the Southwest and in support of Governor Newsom’s call to the entire state to reduce water use. Sound planning and decades of ratepayer investments in new water supplies, expansion of water storage and implementation of water-use efficiency programs has enabled the San Diego region to weather historic dry conditions in the Southwest. California is wrapping up a second dry year, and current weather models predict drier and warmer than usual conditions in the coming months. The California Department of Water Resources has indicated that statewide storage levels are lower than anticipated and may result in lower allocations of state supplies to farming and urban areas in the upcoming year.
SFID appreciates the efforts customers have made since 2007 to reduce consumption by more than 30% and is now asking residents to re-evaluate their water use and find ways to eliminate water waste. Tips, rebates, and landscape class schedules are available and linked at the SFID website at sfidwater.org/conservation.
The declaration of Level 1 is in accordance with SFID’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan that was approved by the Board in June 2021, along with the Urban Water Management Plan, which details demand and supply projections for SFID. This document lays out the steps SFID may take to mitigate dry conditions locally and throughout the State, and in response to potential mandates and allocations. SFID is taking this step now to provide customers time to prepare and evaluate their usage in anticipation of worsening conditions and further restrictions, as indicated by the Governor this summer.
“While the Governor’s call for a reduction is voluntary, it’s important for SFID and the entire San Diego region to join with others throughout the State to save water and maintain storage levels in the event of a dry winter,” said SFID Board President Michael Hogan. “It’s important to not just the San Diego region, but all California communities, our environment, and the economy.”
Some voluntary measures under the voluntary request include;
- Stop hosing down paved surfaces,
- Stop runoff from landscape irrigation,
- Wash vehicles with a hand-held hose/shut-off nozzle or at a commercial site with recirculated water,
- Require restaurant water refills only upon request,
- Provide hotel laundering only upon request, and
- Use non-potable water for construction purposes when available.
Additional tips and links to rebates are available on the SFID website at sfidwater.org. Rebates are available for a variety of water efficient devices for your home, and your landscape, which is where most homes use the most water. Rebates for efficient irrigation controllers, sprinklers, turf replacement and rain barrels. Water audits are also available for residential and commercial customers, and customers in unincorporated areas are also eligible for programs to reduce costs on rain cisterns, permeable pavement and cost-share for irrigation improvements on agricultural properties. Customers can find more information and tips at SFID Twitter (@SFID) and Facebook (@SantaFeID) accounts.