Sanders thanks San Diegans for decreasing their water use


Overall water use was down 12.6 percent citywide in February compared with the same month last year, marking a big drop from January when there was a 1.5 percent spike in consumption, the mayor said Wednesday.

Mayor Jerry Sanders thanked San Diegans for heeding the call to conserve water.

“Clearly, all of the rain in February had an impact on our latest numbers,” Sanders said. “The more it rains, the less water we use for watering our lawns and other things. But we had a lot of rain in January too, and I think people sometimes need to be reminded they need to turn off their sprinkler systems.”

Commercial customers used about 9.4 percent less water in February, compared to the same month last year, and irrigation fell 35.5 percent during the same period, according to the mayor’s office.

Overall, San Diego has cut its water use by about 11 percent this fiscal year, which began in July.

Last June, the City Council imposed mandatory water conservation restrictions which limit when and how often residents can water their lawns and landscaping.

To promote compliance with the required cutbacks, the city rolled out a “No Time To Waste, No Water To Waste” campaign, which was recently singled out for praise by the Association of Environmental Professionals.

The need to conserve water is necessitated by years of drought in Southern California and a judge’s ruling that limits the amount of water that can be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in an effort to protect an endangered fish.

Alex Ruiz, director of San Diego’s Water Department, said given the recent rains and snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, he is “cautiously optimistic” about the forecast for the region’s water supplies in the coming months.