Photo: Sierra snowpack.

Governor Brown declared California’s drought over on April 1, 2017 and last week, Helix’s board of directors rescinded the district’s Level 1 Drought Watch.

While water supplies have drastically improved over the past year, we know that we’ll face more droughts in the future. The chart below, created by the San Diego County Water Authority, shows that California has experienced continual cycles of wet and dry years for decades:

Regionally, San Diego water suppliers have worked together for decades to protect ourselves from these repetitive cycles. Projects such as the Carlsbad Desalination Plant help reduce negative impacts on residents during dry periods.

But additional water supplies are expensive and can’t be relied on alone. We also need everyone to use the water we have responsibly, in and out of drought. Don’t waste water by letting it run into the gutter when you water, and don’t water during the rain.

Although the drought is over, our permanent water efficiency measures remain in place:

  • Do not wash down hardscape unless required for public safety
  • Eliminate irrigation runoff and overspray
  • Do not water for at least 48 hours following rain
  • Do not water turf on public street medians
  • Use recirculated water in fountains and water features
  • Use a hose with a positive shut-off nozzle when washing vehicles
  • Restaurants may only serve water upon request
  • Hotels must offer guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily

These measures not only prevent water waste, but most importantly, protect our water resources as we continue to move in and out of droughts in the future.

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