Water Authority calls for increased water conservation over next 10 days

Short Title
Water Authority calls for increased water conservation over next 10 days
Treated water delivery shutdown and warm weather limit supplies, increase use
February 07, 2006

In response to the ongoing unseasonably warm temperatures and windy conditions, The San Diego County Water Authority has issued an urgent request for increased water conservation throughout the county over the next 10 days. The call for conservation is particularly important for water users in the North County that get water from the Fallbrook Public Utility District, Rainbow Municipal Water District, Vallecitos Water District and Valley Center Municipal Water District.

“This is an extremely serious situation that necessitates immediate and dramatic reductions on treated water use among these North County water agencies,” said Water Authority Public Affairs Director Bill Jacoby at a news conference held this morning in Fallbrook. “A concentrated effort now by all water users is necessary to avoid more drastic measures later.”

The warm weather and Santa Ana conditions that Southern California is currently experiencing has increased the demand for treated water in San Diego and south Riverside counties. This puts an extreme strain on the storage capacity of the North County agencies during the current planned shutdown of all treated water deliveries to San Diego County from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Skinner Treatment plant in southwest Riverside County.

As part of the shutdown, Metropolitan is tying in an additional treatment module as part of the plant expansion. The improvements, scheduled for completion in summer 2007, will increase the plant’s treated water capacity to 630 million gallons per day.  

“Even though this is a planned shutdown, the unusually warm weather will tax the storage capacity of some of our member agencies,” said Jacoby. “The expansion of the Skinner plant will provide 110 million more gallons per day in additional treated water capacity to our region.”

Some of the best ways to conserve water include:
    •    Don’t water your landscape over the next 10 days.
    •    If you must water use a shortened watering cycle and only do so between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. This helps reduce demand for water during the day.
    •    Check for moisture by taking a soil sample and rolling or squeezing it into a ball in your hand. If it won’t form into a ball, it’s probably too dry. If it forms a ball, rub it with your thumb. If it doesn’t crumble, it contains enough moisture to supply water to vegetation. Sandy soils are the exception, as they will always crumble when wet.
    •    Make sure your irrigation system and controller are working properly. Fix all leaks and broken heads and adjust to prevent runoff.
    •    Residents can make a stronger commitment to indoor water conservation by:
    ◦    Turning off the water when brushing teeth or shaving
    ◦    Taking shorter showers
    ◦    Wash full loads of clothes
    ◦    Run the dishwasher only when full
    ◦    Check faucets and toilets for leaks and fix them promptly
    •    
    •    For more information on water conservation, visit the San Diego County Water Authority Web site at www.sdcwa.org/conservation or your contact local water agency.
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