The Coast News Group
drought alert
Climate trends suggest water restrictions are likely to become an ongoing fact of life, so there’s an urgent need for us to think about our water use differently. Courtesy image
Carlsbad Cities Escondido Rancho Santa Fe San Marcos Vista

Vallecitos board declares Level 2 drought alert

REGION — To comply with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order N-7-22, the Vallecitos Water District Board of Directors voted to move to a Level 2 Drought Alert April 21. The new drought level will prompt mandatory water-use restrictions for all Vallecitos customers starting April 21 and into the foreseeable future.

California’s drought, which seemed to be retreating after soaking storms in both October and December, is now all but certain to continue into a third year after the driest January and February in recorded history. The record-breaking dry period and the absence of significant rains in March have prompted the State Department of Water Resources to reduce anticipated deliveries from the State Water Project to 5 percent of requested supplies.

While the state continues to take necessary actions to help extend the state’s existing water supply, state agencies are asking all Californians to do their part now to conserve as much water as possible to make it last. The board noted that Vallecitos does have sufficient water supplies for its customers, even if drought conditions persist. This is due largely to the fact that Vallecitos now receives a portion of its water directly from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, a local, drought-resilient supply.

As detailed in the district’s drought ordinance and Water Shortage Contingency Plan, the mandatory conservation actions for Level 2 Drought Alert state residential and commercial landscape irrigation is limited to no more than three assigned days per week from June through October and no more than two days per week, from November through May, on a schedule established by the general manager and posted by the district. This shall not apply to commercial growers, agricultural water accounts or nurseries. Vallecitos will allow customers to choose their own two days to irrigate each week through the end of May.

The Drought Alert also serves as a reminder of prohibited wasteful practices within the Vallecitos service area, such as:

  • _Irrigating between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • _Irrigating within 48 hours of a measurable rain event
  • _Visible signs of runoff when irrigating landscapes
  • _Hosing down hardscapes (patios, driveways, sidewalks, etc.)
  • _Not using a shut-off nozzle when washing cars
  • _Not fixing leaks within 48 hours of discovery

Commercial customers must also comply with the following requirements:

  • _Restaurants only serve water on request
  • _Hotels provide the option of not laundering linens and towels daily

The Vallecitos District includes parts of Carlsbad, Escondido, Vista, San Marcos and unincorporated county areas. For more information on drought regulations and conservation programs available to assist customers in their conservation efforts, go to vwd.org/drought or call (760) 744-0460.

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