Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Oceanside a high user of water. In fact, per-person water use was 101.3 gallons, one of the lower amounts in the county.
The irrigation district serving Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch and Solana Beach has the highest per-person water use in California, but said Wednesday it’s on target to meet state-mandated reductions.
The Rainbow Municipal Water District near Fallbrook was the second-largest water user locally with 428.6 gallons daily per capita in September, followed by the Valley Center Municipal Water District at 271.8 gallons, and the city of Poway at 204 gallons.
The San Dieguito Water District, which serves Encinitas, was at 154 gallons; and the city of San Diego, which recently enacted mandatory water restrictions, was at 81.83 gallons.
The figures did not take into account population density, population growth, temperature and evaporation rates, topography and socio-economic measures, according to the water board.
The Santa Fe Irrigation District’s General Manager Michael Bardin said the irrigation district “has reduced its overall potable water demand by over 20 percent since 2007 to its current annual consumption of approximately 11,000 acre feet.”
“This has been accomplished through public education, conservation program incentives and rebates, and the conversion of large irrigation users to recycled water supplies,” he said.
The district is “on target to meet state mandated per capita water usage reduction targets, as part of California’s overall water management plan,” Bardin said. “As a result of the ongoing drought and emergency water conservation measures mandated by the (state board), Santa Fe Irrigation District elevated its response under its Water Shortage Response Plan to a Level 2 Condition, implementing mandatory water use restrictions, including restrictions on outdoor water irrigation.”
State water board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said release of the water use data, “which is a first for the state, will inform localized conservation efforts and should start conversations in every community in California about the best and most judicious use of our precious water.”
“Every gallon saved today postpones the need for more drastic, difficult and expensive action should the drought continue into next year or beyond,” she said.
State water board officials said the statewide conservation rate leveled off in September, after three months of improvements. The total urban water conservation rate across California dropped slightly to 10.3 percent in September.
The per capita daily water use figures were reported by nearly 400 urban water agencies statewide as a a requirement of the Emergency Water Conservation Regulation adopted by the state Water Board in July.
The figures varied widely, with the San Francisco Bay region averaging 85.2 gallons per person per day and Colorado River region using around 251.9 gallons per person per day, according to the state water board.
—City News Service
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