The San Diego County Water Authority is urging residents and businesses to help the region conserve water by turning off their outdoor watering systems today in advance of several storms moving into the region as early as tonight. Water Authority officials say residents and businesses may be able to keep their landscape watering systems off for a week or more after these storms.
National Weather Service forecasters predict by Monday the combined storms could deliver up to several inches of rain in coastal areas and significantly more rain and possibly snow to mountain areas. Showers are possible in different parts of the county daily through next week, and there is a chance of thunderstorms hitting the region on Friday.
Residents and businesses may be able to leave their watering systems off for a week and perhaps longer depending on the amount of rainfall received and if cooler temperatures continue. To determine when it is necessary to turn water systems on, the Water Authority recommends monitoring soil moisture. Check the top inch of soil. If it still is moist, it contains enough water to supply the plants.
Despite storm activity so far this winter, the region’s water supplies remain impacted by extremely dry conditions around California over the last year that significantly reduced storage in key reservoirs, as well as by an eight-year drought in the Colorado River basin. In addition, court-ordered pumping restrictions on the State Water Project are now in effect. Water officials expect these restrictions to reduce water deliveries from Northern California through 2008 and potentially beyond.
For more water conservation tips, incentives and programs, visit www.20gallonchallenge.com. To help estimate the right amount of water to give landscapes or gardens anywhere in the region, use the City of San Diego’s Landscape Watering Calculator at www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation
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