San Diego County Water Districts Learn How Much to Save

Local agencies will have to save between 12 and 36 percent

Four San Diego County water districts will be held to the strictest water saving standards in the state, according to goals set by state regulators.

The State Water Resources Control Board approved new restrictions Tuesday in an effort to get the state’s overall conservation to 25 percent — the level mandated by Gov. Jerry Brown. But that means some districts will have to save more than others.

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In San Diego County, districts must save between 12 percent and 36 percent starting on June 1.

The districts ordered to save the most include the Santa Fe Irrigation District, the Valley Center Municipal Water District, the Rainbow Municipal Water District and the Fallbrook Public Utility District.

The Sweetwater Authority will have to save the least in the county: about 12 percent.

Here is a list of the water districts and how much each will have to save:

  • Carlsbad Municipal Water District – 28%
  • City of Escondido – 20%
  • Fallbrook Public Utility District – 36%
  • Helix Water District – 20%
  • Lakeside Water District – 20%
  • City of Oceanside – 20%
  • Olivenhain Municipal Water District – 36%
  • Otay Water District – 20%
  • Padre Dam Municipal Water District – 20%
  • City of Poway – 32%
  • Rainbow Municipal Water District – 36%
  • Ramona Municipal Water District – 28%
  • Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District – 32%
  • City of San Diego – 16%
  • San Dieguito Water District – 28%
  • Santa Fe Irrigation District – 36%
  • Sweetwater Authority – 12%
  • Vallecitos Water District – 24%
  • Valley Center Municipal Water District – 36%
  • Vista Irrigation District – 24%

The city of Del Mar and Yuima Municipal Water District have not been reporting their water use to the state water board.

Officials with the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), a wholesale water supplier serving the region, said Wednesday they are pleased the state regulations protect the farm sector.

“However, we are disappointed that the board’s regulations do not encourage the development of new water supplies,” the utility said in a release. “Despite requests by the Water Authority and others, the regulations don’t give credit to regions that have prudently planned for dry periods by investing in drought-proof water supplies such as the Carlsbad Desalination Project, which will produce 50 million gallons per day for San Diego County starting this fall.”

Beginning on July 1, the Metropolitan Water District plans to reduce the SDCWA’s water supply by 15 percent, but the water authority says it expects to have enough supplies to meet nearly all the typical water demands next year.

The SDCWA’s board will meet on May 14 to discuss those cutbacks, ways to make sure agencies stay within their water allotments, restricting irrigation on ornamental landscaping and other conservation ideas.

If a community does not meet its target, the state water board says it will face hefty fines, though only as a last resort. Gov. Brown has given agencies the ability to issue fines of up to $10,000 for noncompliance.

This chart compares how much the districts have saved to the percentage of water they must now conserve.

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