San Diego’s water usage dropped 12.6 percent this February compared to the same time period last year.
“This is a huge drop in terms of percentages but you have to remember these are lower consuming months,” said Alex Ruiz, assistant director of San Diego’s water department.
Residential water use dropped 10.8 percent, commercial and industrial use dropped 9.4 percent, irrigation use dropped 35.8 percent and city department use dropped 26.85 percent.
Naturally, San Diegans use less water in the winter months -- using 11,000 acre feet in February 2010 – but the year-to-year change was significant.
Even though the drop is considered “huge news” to the folks doing the counting, this is still no time to relax on conserving water, according to San Diego’s mayor.
“We live in a desert and in the past we’ve been able to get by with the water usage but we’re in this for the long term,” said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.
“We’re going to have to button down and continue to conserve,” he said.
The Metropolitan Water District will evaluate its coming water year in April when the amount of water expected from the Sierra Nevada snow pack is available, Ruiz said.
“At this point, we are cautiously optimistic that we won’t be in a more severe drought situation but we’re still waiting from our wholesalers to look at what we’re going to be like as a region,” Ruiz said. That information is expected between April and May.