On May 18, 2016, in response to a revised Executive Order from Governor Brown, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) acted to end the statewide mandatory conservation requirements that were imposed in May 2015. The action by the Board replaced the arbitrary statewide standards with conservation goals that are based on the actual water supply conditions present at each agency. While we are still working to process the new rules to see if there will be any sort of conservation required for our region, these new regulations will reduce our conservation level dramatically. While the calculations are not completed yet, it is likely that our mandatory conservation level will be at or near zero.
Over the last year we have worked hard to inform the SWRCB of the extraordinary efforts by the residents of San Diego County not only to conserve, but also to invest in diverse, drought resilient supplies of water. A big part of our ability have water supply even after many dry years is the investments made in the water transfers from the Imperial Irrigation District, canal lining in Imperial Valley, and the Bud Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. Together, these sources give us a resilient supply that while not immune to drought, helps us through shortages through diversity of supply sources.
The SWRCB continued several common sense water use prohibitions such as not hosing down sidewalks, or washing your car without a valve on the end of the hose. Water waste is still prohibited, so while our customers are no longer required to hit a certain conservation target, they must remain vigilant on irrigation system overspray, leaks, and poor operations.
Our thanks goes out to all of our customers who made extraordinary efforts over the last year to meet the standards set by the SWRCB and we look forward to a return to normal in our water supply shortage management processes.