The Coast News Group

Drought level reduced

By Aaron Burgin

ENCINITAS — Encinitas water ratepayers and residents will receive more relief in the coming weeks after the San Dieguito Water District voted to downgrade its drought response from Level 2 to Level 1, the lowest levels since 2014.

Gov. Jerry Brown, in May, signed an executive order that allowed agencies to self-report their water supplies, which was in recognition that some areas — such as San Diego County — had a water surplus. This has allowed all of the water agencies in San Diego County to no longer be subject to the state’s mandatory conservation rates, which were enacted in April 2015 by Brown to cut the state’s water usage by 25 percent.

The San Dieguito Water District board — essentially the City Council — voted July 13 to rescind the Level 2 drought response, but still maintain the Level 1 response in recognition that the state is entering its fifth year of drought and a much dryer La Niña weather pattern is on the horizon.

The average customer should see about a 6.5 percent reduction of their water bills, according to a staff report.