Seeking Withdrawl of Drought Emergency Regulations
On January 26, 2017, San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) Board of Directors met to discuss the current Statewide Drought Emergency Regulations. After considerable deliberation, the Board determined that maintaining a statewide drought emergency while our County has no water supply shortage undermines our credibility with our customers and will dilute our ability to respond to actual water supply shortages in the future. Further, by incorrectly communicating the status of our water supplies, we degrade our ability to attract, retain and expand businesses. The fact is that our region has developed a drought-resilient supply and never had a supply shortage through the entire drought period.
Last May, the State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) adopted emergency regulations that replaced the previous percentage reducing-based water conservation standard with a localized “stress test”. Under the current criteria the San Diego region has adequate supplies to meet demands for well over three years even if there was extreme drought. It is likely that our supplies could stretch a few more years past the three-year stress test.
With this winter’s significant rain and snow storms, local water agencies’ investments in drought-resilient supplies, and customers’ commitment to water use efficiency, the vast majority of urban water suppliers statewide are no longer experiencing water supply shortfall conditions. This is not to say that there are no areas where supply shortfalls still exist; we feel that the State Board’s focus should be turned to communities still needing aid in meeting water demands.
No matter the outcome long-term water-use efficiency remains a major focus in our daily lives, through our Live WaterSmart campaign, rebates and efficiency programs throughout the local communities.
If you would like to read more on this subject go to http://www.sdcwa.org/drought-conditions-end-san-diego-countyFebruary Newsletter