Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District’s (Rincon Water) Board of Directors voted last week at its regularly scheduled Board Meeting, to rescind its Level 2 – Drought Alert, in place since May of 2015, and return to Level One – Drought Watch.
Like the majority of water agencies in California, Rincon Water and its customers have been under mandatory water conservation requirements set by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) which, along with other water use restrictions, included the most recent water use reduction goal of 24%. With the return to Drought Level One, Rincon Water’s customers are encouraged to voluntarily achieve water savings up to 10%.
This action was taken by the Rincon Water’s Board of Directors in response to improved water supply conditions along with the State Board’s implementation of a new methodology or “stress test”, allowing water agencies to determine the appropriate local conservation response while ensuring the continuation of specific permanent water use restrictions activities.
“In concert with our wholesale water supplier, we have conducted an assessment of our water supply assuming three more dry years and thanks to our high levels of efficiency and our investment in drought-resilient supplies, we are able to demonstrate that we have adequate supplies available for our customers through three more years of drought,” said Rincon Water’s general manager, Greg Thomas. Rincon Water’s assessment is available to the public on its website at www.rinconwater.org/%20index.php?option=com_ content&view=article&id=5.
Together with its customers, Rincon Water has invested millions of dollars to develop and manage drought-resilient water supplies, both locally and regionally. Such local projects include the conversion of Sempra’s power plant cooling towers and significant dedicated landscape irrigation sites to recycled water, saving over 3,000 acre feet of potable water per year. Regionally, through the San Diego County Water Authority, Rincon Water has invested in additional drought–resilient projects and alternate sources of water supplies such as water transfers and the construction and operation of the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which produces 56,000 acre feet of potable water per year.
“We thank our customers for the tremendous efforts they have made to save water during this drought, reducing overall water use cumulatively by nearly 30% since May of 2015. But, even though specific state mandates have been eliminated, permanent water use restrictions are in place and we are asking our customers to continue with these water-wise practices,” said Rincon Water’s board president, David Drake.
Permanent water use restrictions include:
• No hosing off of sidewalks, driveways and other hardscapes
• No watering during or 48-hours after measurable rainfall event
• No washing automobiles with hoses not equipped with a shut-off nozzle
• No use of non-recirculated water in a fountain or other decorative water feature
• No watering of lawns in a manner that causes runoff
• No irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians with potable water
• No serving of drinking water at eating and drinking establishments other than upon request
• Offering guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily at lodging establishments
• Irrigating landscape only within the hours of 8:00 pm to 9:00 am.
“The bottom line is that while our agency no longer has a specific state-mandated conservation standard, we need everyone to continue using water efficiently. Conservation is now a way of life in California, and we must all work together to continue to preserve and conserve this vital resource.” said Thomas. “Again, we thank you for your efforts and congratulate you for becoming the efficient water users you are today.”
Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District is an independent, special district dedicated to providing potable and recycled water to approximately 30,000 people in a 42-square-mile area that includes Escondido, San Marcos, San Diego, and other surrounding unincorporated areas through nearly 8,000 connections. The public is invited to Board meetings, which take place at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Rincon’s facilities located at 1920 North Iris Lane in Escondido.