With State Facing Drought, Coastkeeper Calls for Local Conservation

The environmental group called for mandatory restrictions on water use locally even though the San Diego County Water Authority expects sufficient supplies in 2014.

Construction to expand the San Vicente Reservoir. Courtesy San Diego County Water Authority.
Construction to expand the San Vicente Reservoir. Courtesy San Diego County Water Authority.
The environmental group Coastkeeper Friday called for mandatory local water conservation even though the San Diego County Water Authority predicts sufficient supplies in 2014.

The request came in a statement as Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in California. Last year was the driest on record and the snow pack is at an all-time low.
Sacramento and other northern California cities have already imposed mandatory water restrictions to conserve shrinking supplies. 

However, the San Diego Water Authority noted in October that healthy reservoir levels, strong conservation efforts and growing transfers from the Colorado River mean "San Diego County will have sufficient water supplies for 2014 even if dry conditions persist." The authority reiterated on Friday it's prediction of adequate supplies.

The West Coast's first major desalination plant is under construction in Carlsbad and expected to open in 2016.

Coastkeeper staff member Matt O'Malley said San Diegans have a responsibility to conserve in the current drought situation.

"As water importers, we have a responsibility to conserve when our end-of-pipe habits have devastating effects rippling throughout the western United States,” O'Malley said.

"We have to ask ourselves, if in San Diego County, 60 percent of water use goes to landscape irrigation and other outdoor activities, are we really doing what we can to conserve?"


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