Even before San Diego's city leaders find out just how short the water supply will be this year -- they are taking action.
On Tuesday, Mayor Jerry Sanders announced the city is developing a method for cutting water allocations to customers. Sanders said he expects the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will find the Colorado River Basin is so low on water that San Diegans will have to cut water consumption by 20 percent as early as this summer.
"This is a very serious issue with very serious implications for our economy and for our way of life," Sanders said. "All of us have a role to play in getting through this. Each of us can have a positive impact on the future of our water supply by doing everything we can right now to conserve water."
The mayor said that by now, residents should shut off their outdoor irrigation systems. The rationing may begin on in July. Those who don't comply could have to pay "still penalties," Sanders warned.
The mayor has scheduled three public workshops next month to discuss how to fairly implement water rationing. The 6 p.m. meetings will be held on Feb. 9 at the Otay Mesa-Nestor Branch Library; Feb. 10 at the Rancho Penasquitos Branch Library; and Feb. 12 at the War Memorial Building in Balboa Park.
Water officials said the amount of water allocated to individual customers would be based on customers' usage history and would most likely impact water users more than customers who use water primarily inside the home, he said.
For tips on conserving water, visit the City of San Diego web site.