COAST CITIES — Citing the recent development of new recycled water supplies that supplement its imported water supply, plus extraordinary conservation efforts on the part of its customers, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s board of directors voted unanimously at its June 23 meeting to discontinue the Level 2 Drought Alert condition and return to a Level 1 Water Supply Condition effective July 1.
Water use restrictions enforced as mandatory under a Level 2 Drought Alert become strictly voluntary with the move to a Level 1 Water Supply Condition. These now-voluntary restrictions include:
— Refraining from washing down paved surfaces.
— Stopping water waste as a result of inefficient landscape irrigation.
— Irrigating residential properties only between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
— Irrigating nursery or commercial grower’s products only before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
— Using shut-off nozzles or buckets to irrigate with hoses.
— Promptly repairing all leaks.
Restrictions no longer in place with the lifting of the Level 2 Drought Alert condition include limiting irrigation to three days per week and restricting irrigation to 10 minutes per station.
Returning to Level 1 does not mean that future water challenges are over, but rather that OMWD’s anticipated supplies for the next year are adequate to meet demands as a result of OMWD’s development of 2,900 acre-feet of recycled water.
OMWD had moved to a Level 2 Drought Alert on July 1, 2009, in response to the San Diego County Water Authority’s Level 2 declaration on April 23, 2009 that mandated an 8 percent reduction in water deliveries to each of its member agencies. By employing mandatory water-use restrictions, the Level 2 Drought Alert was intended to generate sufficient water conservation to meet the 8 percent reduction and avoid penalties from SDCWA.
The board determined that OMWD water supply targets allowing for a return to Level 1 had been met, even with SDCWA and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California choosing to remain at Level 2.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center has considered the growing possibility of a La Niña condition later in 2010, which may result in another dry winter.