RANCHO SANTA FE — The Santa Fe Irrigation District, or SFID, voted by a narrow 3-2 margin to declare a Drought Level 2 Condition May 21, making water conservation mandatory for residential and business customers effective July 1.
The Level 2 Resolution is an outgrowth of the prolonged drought and restrictions on water exports from the Bay-Delta area. Last month the San Diego County Water Authority announced an 8 percent reduction in deliveries to its member agencies for 2010. The SFID staff recommended the water conservation measures to help provide a reliable supply of water for public health, safety and welfare.
The water conservation measure is intended to attain a goal of a 6 percent reduction in water use. The Level 2 declaration does not implement water allocations or restrict the issuance of new potable-water service meters.
Measures in effect include:
— No washing down of paved surfaces.
— Use of positive shut-off nozzles on hoses or using buckets when hand-watering plants.
— Repair all leaks within 72 hours of notification by the district
— Stop operating ornamental fountains or similar decorative water features unless recycled water is used.
— Use recycled or nonpotable water for construction purposes when available.
During the months of June through October, residential and commercial landscape irrigation is to be no more than three times a week, before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Addresses ending with even numbers are allowed to irrigate Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Addresses ending with odd numbers are allowed to irrigate Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Apartments, condominiums and businesses are allowed to irrigate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This does not apply to commercial growers or nurseries.
During the months of November through May, residential and commercial landscape irrigation will be limited to once a week. Addresses ending with even numbers are allowed to irrigate on Tuesdays. Addresses ending with odd numbers are allowed to irrigate on Thursdays. Apartments, condominiums and businesses are allowed to water on Wednesday. Again, this does not apply to commercial growers or nurseries.
The National Weather Service planning scenarios indicate that the county may continue to experience water shortages for several more years. Water conservation measures will help as will a desalination plant that is set to open in Carlsbad in 2012; SFID plans to purchase approximately 2,000 acre-feet of water from the plant. In addition, there are several recycled water projects in the works.