San Diego Growers Ready for Rain | NBC 7 San Diego

San Diego Growers Ready for Rain



    (Published Thursday, July 3, 2014)

    Growers across San Diego County are rejoicing over the rain forecasted for Sunday night.

    San Diego's Most Accurate Weather Forecast

    Bernardo Winery owner Ross Rizzo, Jr., says the rain is a much-needed relief.

    "This windmill will actually start to pull water out of the ground and pump it through our irrigation channels, and we tend to soak our avocado trees and our grape vines with it,” Rizzo explained. “But because of the drought, it's been dry for quite some time.”

    This January has nearly tied for San Diego's driest January on record. Since July, only 2.25 inches of rain have fallen, when the norm is closer to 5.5.

    The weather has been so dry, it’s tricking Rizzo’s grapevines to thinking it’s spring.

    “It throws off their yearly maturation calendar, so some of the plants are bud-breaking currently," he said.

    Because of California Governor Jerry Brown’s drought declaration across the state, many have changed the way they use water.

    Rizzo’s vineyard uses water from a well and recycles runoff water from the property. He only waters his plants for a few hours every other week.

    But even with all those water conservation efforts, he says he can't wait for good, old fashioned rain.

    "Rain now means water in our wells and tanks later," Rizzo said.

    The San Diego County Water Authority says most of the water we consume is used outside for watering plants and crops.

    "We need a lot of rainstorms in the next couple of months to help increase the amount of water that's going to be available around the state and in San Diego County," said Jason Foster with the water authority.

    Water Authority officials say they also hope the rain will help build up the snow pack in Northern California, which is where we get 20 percent of our water. Currently, it's only at 12 percent of normal.

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