Faulconer, Lightner: State Water Supply is Critically Low, Everyone Must Do Their Part and Conserve

New State Regulations Prohibit Watering Outdoor Landscapes within 48 Hours of Rain

San Diego - As California enters its fourth consecutive year of drought conditions and with state reservoirs at historic lows, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Council President Sherri Lightner today urged San Diegans to remain statewide leaders in water conservation and do everything they can to waste no water.

"Over the last few years, San Diegans have met the challenge to use water wisely by reducing their water usage by nearly 20 percent," Mayor Faulconer said. "Water supply levels remain at historic lows and we must challenge ourselves to conserve even more. Water is a precious resource in our region and wasting it is not an option."

As a result of the state regulations approved this week, watering outdoor landscapes during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall will be prohibited.

"As San Diegans, we can all make a positive impact by reducing our outdoor water use, which will help to maximize our water supply," added Mayor Faulconer.

Other new regulations adopted by the state have already been enacted in San Diego. At the mayor’s direction last year, the City Council voted to move the City into Drought Alert status on Nov. 1, which calls for mandatory water use restrictions in response to the severe drought conditions statewide. The City’s existing year-round, permanent water-use restrictions further support the state’s new regulations.

Despite the conservation push here in San Diego, the water supply situation throughout the state remains critical. State reservoirs are below normal levels and will be dramatically impacted by the low water content of the snowpack in the mountains, which is at historic lows.

"Several years ago the water policy task force did an amazing job of researching ways for San Diegans to conserve water and protect the environment. As the state is announcing their mandatory restrictions, we in San Diego can proudly say that we have already begun implementing many of these measures which have led to considerable conservation. In addition, City departments are working on further methods to conserve water, such as provisions for gray water reuse and reinitiating the successful turf replacement incentive program," said Council President Lightner.

The serious drought condition in California also reinforces the need for San Diego to become more water independent. Mayor Faulconer and the City Council are moving forward with the cutting-edge Pure Water program, which would purify enough wastewater to provide one-third of San Diego’s water supply by 2035. It calls for the construction of nearly $2.8 billion in water-purification plants that would eventually produce 83 million gallons of drinking water per day.

The mandatory measures already enacted by the City include:

  • Watering only during 3 assigned days per week
  • Limiting the use of fire hydrants to fire fighting, construction, health and safety
  • No irrigation during rain
  • All leaks need to be fixed upon discovery
  • Using hose with a shutoff nozzle or timer for irrigation
  • Using recycled water for construction purposes, when available
  • All decorative water fountains can be operated only for maintenance
  • Restaurants shall only serve and refill water for patrons upon request
  • Guests in hotels will be provided the option of not laundering towels and linens daily

For full details on the mandatory water-use restrictions, see the attached PDF icon Fact Sheet.

To learn more about water conservation rebates and services, visit wastenowater.org.

CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]