Lawn Watering
Sprinklers watering a lawn in Southern California. Image courtesy Metropolitan Water District

The staff of the San Diego County Water Authority recommended Thursday that landscape watering be cut to two days a week across San Diego County to comply with new statewide restrictions.

The authority said that the combination of the new Carlsbad desalination plan and water transfers from the Imperial Valley gives it enough supply to meed demand through the next year, but agencies are under state orders to reduce water use regardless of available supplies.

“After two decades of countywide water conservation efforts and water-use reductions, it will be very challenging to meet the state’s targets. But everyone in the region has a civic duty to take additional steps that squeeze the most out of each gallon we have,” said Maureen Stapleton, general manager of the water authority.

The staffs to recommendations are:

  • Limit irrigation of ornamental landscapes and turf grass with potable water to two days a week across the region. Currently, the number of watering days differs by member agency, but is three days in San Diego.
  • Increase conservation and drought outreach programs by $1 million. The money would be spent on homeowner-assistance programs, training for landscapers, advertising, a smartphone app for reporting violations, and stepped up enforcement.

The water authority’s board will consider the new rules at a special meeting on May 14. They would go into effect June 1.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.