At a noon meeting today, February 13, the board of the San Diego County Water Authority adopted its staff recommendation to call upon residents to step up water-conservation efforts.
The water authority's long-term plan has four levels of restrictions. Today, the authority only adopted the first level, calling for voluntary measures. Among them are: repairing leaks quickly; washing paved surfaces only when necessary for health and safety; irrigating only before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.; using hoses with automatic shut-off valves for car washing; serving and refilling water at restaurants only on request, and offering hotel guests the option of not laundering their linens and towels daily.
The more severe levels were not adopted. Level 2 would limit irrigation and lawn watering and stop operating ornamental fountains. Level 3 would restrict water landscaping and irrigation more severely, and prohibiting vehicle washing except at car washes that recirculate water. Level 4 would prohibit landscape irrigation, except for crops and nurseries, and restrict existing landscaping and plant maintenance.
Gov. Jerry Brown has declared the drought a state of emergency. The San Diego authority says it will have adequate water this year because it will take some Colorado River water from storage.