GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

San Diego Level 2 water use restrictions permanent? Not really.

Posted by George J Janczyn on November 10, 2010

The City Council voted Tuesday Nov 9 on modifications to the City of San Diego’s water conservation measures. As reported on Councilperson Donna Frye’s website:

The City of San Diego has updated its mandatory water conservation requirements, effective November 1, 2009, as part of a Level 2 Drought Alert Condition. These updated water conservation measures include two significant changes – the hours and length of time you can water. Specifically, between June 1 and October 31, on your watering days, you may only water before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Landscape irrigation using sprinklers is limited to no more than ten minutes maximum per watering station per assigned day (does not apply to drip, micro-irrigation, stream rotor, rotary heads, hose end sprinklers with timers or valves operated by a weather-based irrigation controller).

* Limit the watering of lawns and landscapes to three days per week from November 1 through May 31. Those days are:
o Even numbered addresses: Sat., Mon., Wed.
o Odd numbered addresses: Sun., Tues., Thur.
o Apartments, Condos, Businesses: Mon., Wed., Fri.
o On your watering day, you may only water before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

Although the press has widely reported that Drought Level 2 restrictions were made permanent, in fact they are not permanent.

San Diego’s Drought Level 2 water restrictions include two significant components: 1) landscape watering limited to early morning and late evening hours of the day, and 2) watering limited to three days per week for a specified number of minutes per day. Those restrictions are “permanent” only as long as the Drought Level 2 alert is in effect.

The Council’s original idea (actually Councilperson Donna Frye’s idea) was to make those restrictions permanent even when the Drought Level 2 alert is lifted. Opponents forced the plan to be scaled back, however, so the only permanent restriction after the Drought Level 2 alert is lifted is that watering must be done during early morning and late evening hours. The amount of watering will be unlimited. For more on that story please see my earlier blog post on this subject.

[Nov. 17: At least PUD issued a news release that avoids saying the Drought Level 2 restrictions are permanent and confirms what I’ve pointed out here and earlier — that only time of day is permanent: http://www.sandiego.gov/water/pdf/press/101117restrictions.pdf]

The Drought Level 2 declaration by the Council can be lifted at any time, and probably will be as soon as the County Water Authority lifts its Drought alert (the Metropolitan Water District, on which the decision will be partly based, will vote on lifting restrictions next month on Dec. 14.

Here are the somewhat misleading press reports I could find. I’ll add to the list if more appear later. As of this writing, neither the Union-Tribune nor the Voice of San Diego had published a report.

(click headlines to see sourced stories)

SD Council approves permanent water restrictions / KPBS : “Years of drought and water supply shortages led to “Level 2” restrictions last year, and today’s actions, approved 7-to-0, make the “Level 2” water restrictions permanent.”

Outdoor water restrictions now permanent in San Diego / KFMB Channel 8 : “Tuesday’s action, which was approved 7-0 without discussion, makes the “Level 2″ water restrictions permanent.”

City Council makes water restrictions permanent / 10News : “Tuesday’s action, which was approved 7-0 without discussion, makes the “Level 2″ water restrictions permanent.”

City adopts permanent water restrictions / KSWB : “The City Council voted Tuesday to make outdoor water use restrictions permanent in San Diego.”

Ourdoor [sic] watering rules now permanent in San Diego / MyLocalNews “Tuesday’s action, which was approved 7-0 without discussion, makes the “Level 2’’ water restrictions permanent.”

SD Council makes outdoor water restrictions permanent / San Diego News Room : “The City Council voted today to make outdoor water use restrictions permanent in San Diego.”

 

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