The State Water Resources Control Board approved a proposal that would implement water restrictions across the state.
State Water Resources board member, E. Joaquin Esquivel said in the meeting Tuesday that, “there is a lot of work to do this coming summer,” just moments after a resolution for a drought-related emergency regulation pertaining to urban water conservation was adopted.
Under the plan, which is expected to be implemented by June 10, comes after Governor Gavin Newsom’s push to urge water agencies across the state to be more aggressive in their approach to conservation.
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The state’s water use jumped by 19% in the month of March compared to the same month in 2020.
The Level 2 actions to be implemented applies to potable water. Examples of the Level 2 actions include reducing landscape irrigation, banning water waste, like runoff and leaks, implementing rebates for toilets, shower heads, turf replacement, water waste patrols and enforcement, and drought rate structures and surcharges.
How this will directly impact San Diegans and the approach the Water Authority will take has not been released. In a statement to NBC 7, and following the hours long meeting on the restrictions, a representative from the Water Authority released the following changes.
“Due to changes made during the State Board meeting, we are still evaluating the regulations and won't be releasing a statement tonight.”
However, during Tuesday’s meeting, the board president of Helix Water District, which services some cities like La Mesa, said her district is already efficient and that restrictions to water use could lead to loss in revenue and defer infrastructure projects that would otherwise benefit customers.
Under the regulations, urban water suppliers would implement Level 2 demand reductions in water use.
Some examples include banning water waste like runoff and leaks, rebates for toilets, showerheads and turf replacements, water waste patrols and enforcement, and drought rate structures and surcharges.
Another layer of the regulations presented Tuesday included banning irrigation of non-functional turf, which is turf that’s not being used for recreational purposes or for community events, but it doesn’t apply to sports fields.
Lifelong Californian Miguel Mejia says he’s always conserved water in his everyday life, but wonders how these restrictions will be divided and fair.
”In that sense I think it could be a good thing, but I also think that when you’re talking about something that affects all of us it’s a good idea to see you know, how do we divi up that responsibility, who are the big players when it comes to where the water is being used, where it’s going?” Meija said.
Saad Asad who lives in Mission Hills worries those who face financial hardship could be impacted.
”I wouldn’t want to with people who are hurting on their paychecks with inflation and stuff like that, that’s not who it should impact. Bu for people who have resident and commercial, stuff like that, then yeah, that’s the price you pay,” Asad said.