WaterSource New Masthead

April 2009 

In This Issue
2009 Water Supply Picture Becomes Clearer This Month
Snowpack Survey Results Announced
Take Our Survey
10-Year Anniversary for Conservation Garden
Public Comment on Landscape Water Conservation Regulations
Quick Links

San Diego County Water Authority
Upcoming Events
Talk with the Water Authority and pick up your free conservation device at the following events:
Boy Scout Fair - April 18 at Qualcomm Stadium

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2009 Water Supply Picture to Become Clearer This Month 
Drought bars 1st level
The outlook for San Diego County's water supplies in 2009 will become much clearer over the next several weeks as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the San Diego County Water Authority make key decisions at their upcoming board meetings.
The Board of Directors for MWD, the Water Authority's main water supplier, will decide at its April 13-14 meetings whether it will allocate, or cut back, water deliveries to the Water Authority and MWD's 25 other member agencies starting July 1.  Water Authority officials estimate MWD could order an allocation that cuts back deliveries by 10 to 15 percent.
If MWD orders a water supply allocation, the Water Authority's Board of Directors will consider declaring a Level 2 "Drought Alert" condition at its next meeting on 
April 23. Such an action will enable the Water Authority's 24 retail member agencies to move to the next level of their individual drought response ordinances, which authorize mandatory conservation restrictions or water rate schedules designed to achieve regional water savings of up to 20 percent.
Water agencies in most of California are grappling with an unprecedented combination of water supply challenges. Regulatory restrictions to protect fish species in the Bay-Delta are dramatically reducing water deliveries from Northern California and are set to be in place for years. Despite recent rain and snow around California, lingering drought conditions are further constraining supplies. These factors have drawn many key reservoirs down to very low levels. Click here to view local and state reservoir levels.
Under a Drought Alert, the second level of the Water Authority's four-level model drought ordinance, voluntary water use restrictions outlined in the model drought ordinance become mandatory. Examples of these restrictions include not washing down sidewalks and driveways, watering residential and commercial landscapes only in early morning or late evening hours, and serving water in restaurants only by request.
Additional restrictions also take effect at this level, including limits on how many days per week and minutes per day lawns and plants can be watered.  Leaks must also be repaired more quickly, and decorative fountains and other water features must not be used unless they use recycled water.  More information on Drought Alert restrictions in the Water Authority's model ordinance can be found here.
Actual restrictions may vary by retail agency, and many agencies have additional restrictions.  It's critical for residents and businesses to check with their local water provider to make sure they understand the rates and restrictions that could be enforced in their community.  Links to local drought ordinances can be found here.  If the Water Authority declares a Drought Alert, each retail agency has a procedure for enacting the next level of its drought ordinance through approval by the agency's Board of Directors or City Council.
To find water-saving tips, resources and incentives, visit 20gallonchallenge.com.
California Department of Water Resources Announces Results of Fourth Snow Survey
Snow Survey
On April 2, the California Department of Water Resources announced the results of its fourth snowpack survey for the season. The results indicate that water content in the snowpack is at 81 percent of normal.
"A below-average snowpack at this time of year, especially following two consecutive dry years is a cause for concern," said DWR Director Lester Snow.  "Our most critical storage reservoirs remain low, and we face severe water supply problems in many parts of our state. Californians must continue to save water at home and in their businesses."
DWR expects it will be able to deliver only 20 percent of requested State Water Project water this year to the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast, and Southern California due to continuing dry conditions and regulatory agency restrictions on Delta water exports.
For more on the latest snowpack survey and additional
information on California's drought, click here.
Your Opinion Matters!
As a WaterSource subscriber, we know that you are knowledgeable and concerned about water supply issues and reliability. Please take a few moments to complete a short survey. It should not take you more than five minutes to answer these questions. All survey responses are confidential.
Your responses will provide valuable community feedback as we address key water challenges this year.
Please go to this link to complete the survey.
Thank you. Your input is important. 
Water Conservation Garden Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary
Garden Logo
Join the Garden for its 10-year anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 25. The daylong Spring Garden Festival will begin at 9 a.m., with a commemorative presentation at 10:30 a.m. in the Garden amphitheater.
There will be a variety of activities available for all ages including 'Ask the Experts' on topics ranging from planting a vegetable garden, making your landscape fire-wise, and saving water to prepare for potential water shortages. Stop by the event and pick up a FREE water conservation device for your home or yard and enjoy the activities of the day!
For more information on the festival, click here.  
To learn more about the Water Conservation Garden and to see a schedule of upcoming classes and events, visit www.thegarden.org.
Water Authority Joins Forces with Partners Statewide to 'Stand for Less' 
On April 8, the Water Authority joined forces with community leaders at the 'Stand for Less' program launch at the Martin Luther King Promenade Park in downtown San Diego.
'Stand for Less' is a statewide awareness campaign that aims to reduce greenhouse gas-inducing habits in four key areas: water, electricity, transportation, and recycling. 'Stand For Less' is designed to achieve the goals of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). Statewide partners include the Department of Conservation, Energy Commission, Air Resources Board, Public Utility Commission, and Department of Water Resources. Local partners include SANDAG, San Diego Gas & Electric, city of San Diego, California Center for Sustainable Energy, Cox Communications, and the San Diego Foundation.
For more information, visit the Stand for Less website.
County of San Diego Asks for Input on Landscape Water Conservation Regulations
The county of San Diego is seeking public comment on its proposed Landscape Water Conservation Regulations. The draft regulation was prepared at the direction of the County Board of Supervisors. It also responds to state law which requires the county to either adopt the state's recently updated model landscape ordinance or adopt one that is as effective at conserving water.
The last day of the public review process is May 5. Please review the document here:
Please send comments to:
Dixie Switzer, Dept. of Planning and Land Use
5201 Ruffin Road, Suite B
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 694-3041

The San Diego County Water Authority works through its 24 member agencies to provide a safe and reliable water supply to support the region's $171 billion economy and quality of life of 3 million residents.