Denise Vetter – 4/7/15

Have you dialed back your watering times for your landscape irrigation? Governor Brown has just called for 25% mandatory water conservation in the wake of an ongoing 4 year drought. Denise Vetter, the Sr. Public Information Officer from the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), shared valuable information with s this morning regarding San Diego’s water usage and the need for conservation. The good news is San Diego has been actively pursuing water conservation over the past 4 years and is in a better condition to meet this conservation requirement than many other water agencies.

“In 1990, San Diego used 641k ac-ft of water for a population of 2.4 million people,” she told us. (This equates to approximately 240 gallons per person per day.) “In 2014, San Diego used 566k ac-ft and the population grew to 3.1 million,” she continued. (This water use is equivalent to 163 gallons per person per day, a 32% reduction!) But the goal is still another 10% reduction, to get us in line with a 25% overall reduction from our 2013 water usage the Governor has mandated.

“After 17 consecutive months of above normal temperatures, our water supplies are stressed to the limits. We need new sources and more conservation,” according to Mrs. Vetter. The new desalination plant in Carlsbad will add about 56,000 ac-ft per year, when it comes on line in late 2015. This equates to about 7% of the County’s need. The City of San Diego Pure Water program could add as much as 33,000 ac-ft per year, once distribution systems and treatment facilities are upgraded by 2020. These are good additions, but they still leave us thirsting for more conservation.

So, turn off you faucet while brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers. Replace your water guzzling lawn with artificial turf or low water use, native vegetation. Remember, every drop saved is important!

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