San Diego

Poway Residents Upset Over Potential Extension of Drought Restrictions

Californians have saved water on average by 22.5 percent a month since June 2015

A major decision could be coming Wednesday from Sacramento that would extend drought restrictions.

That has a lot of local residents scratching their heads, given the recent heavy rain and conservation efforts. The San Diego County Water Authority also declared the drought conditions over for our county following the storms.

But that is not stopping the State Water Resources Control Board from considering the idea of keeping statewide drought controls in place.

Some Poway homeowners are not so happy with the potential of more restrictions.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said resident Cliff Doughty and his neighbor Jim Hoover.

Californians have saved water on average by 22.5 percent a month since June 2015, according to the State Water Resources Control Board.

But for residents in Poway, there will be a monthly fee increase that kicks in this March.

“People worked hard and conserved water and did without a lot of things,” said Doughty. “Then they were rewarded with increase in water rates. They want to charge us more because they’re not selling enough water.”

Jim Hoover said he isn't just feeling the pain of a rate increase, but the impact the drought had on his landscaping business that he recently retired from.

“It’s really tough right now because everybody is going to rocks," Hoover said.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said Sacramento is out of touch, putting too many regulations on residents.

“I wish Sacramento could come down here and pay attention to how we’ve taken care of business. The San Diego Water Authority has done a terrific job. We’ve got more than enough water for our needs," Vaus told NBC 7.

Though Poway's needs may be met, and one of California's prime water sources, the Sierra snowpack has gotten more snow than normal, state regulators want to continue restrictions because of concerns about water supplies on the central coast between Monterey and Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara reservoir is under 15 percent full.

Resident Karen Valencia said that's why “conservation is key and everything needs a little protection.”

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