Santa Fe Irrigation District lifts drought bans

RANCHO SANTA FE — Thanks to customers’ conservation for nearly two years and significant improvement in statewide water supply conditions in 2011, the Santa Fe Irrigation District(SFID) Board of Directors voted unanimously to discontinue its Drought Response 2 Condition and lift mandatory water use restrictions. The change became effective May 19.
The Drought Response Level 2 Condition had been in effect since July 1, 2009. Mandatory water use restrictions, including limiting outside irrigation to three days per week, were initiated to ensure water demands were reduced in response to the allocation of water by Southern California’s wholesale water suppliers, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the San Diego County Water Authority. Based on the current outlook of water supply, demand, and storage conditions, the SDCWA deactivated its Water Shortage and Drought Response Plan and discontinued water supply allocations to its member agencies as of April 29.
The Level 2 Condition included mandatory water use restrictions, and required all residential and commercial customers to cut back water use by 6 percent. Those restrictions included following an outdoor watering schedule, limiting landscape irrigation to three days per week and 10 minutes per sprinkler station. Those restrictions are no longer in place following the board action. Rescinding the Level 2 Condition does not mean that future water challenges are over, but rather that SFID’s anticipated supplies for the next year are adequate to meet demands. That situation could change if the region’s water supply outlook worsens or if SFID customers stop conserving the way they have been.
Since the Level 2 mandatory water use restrictions were put in place, SFID customers met and exceeded the district’s call for a 6 percent reduction in water usage. Water use has been down over 20 percent since SFID called for cutbacks in water usage.
“Wise and efficient use of water is our civic responsibility,” SFID General Manager Michael Bardin said. “Our customers have done an outstanding job of conserving water over the past two years, and we encourage them to continue to conserve.” Bardin added, “The response of the community to the call for conservation was impressive. I want to thank all of our residents and businesses for their efforts when water supplies became constrained.”
Although mandatory use restrictions are no longer in effect, the District encourages its customers to continue to use water wisely and practice common-sense, everyday things to eliminate water waste. Practical water use guidelines include the following:
For information on water conservation and ways you can ensure your water use is efficient, visit sfidwater.org.

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