Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom extended California’s drought emergency to the entire state. He also called on water utilities to activate their water shortage contingency plans based on local supply and demand, and asked all Californians to do more to conserve as the state faces one of its most severe droughts on record.

In response, on November 3, 2021, Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo declared a water shortage response Level 1 under our water shortage contingency plan, calling for voluntary water conservation.

In California, droughts are part of life – and so is using water wisely. Helix Water District and the other water utilities serving the San Diego region have worked together for decades to plan for water shortages, encourage conservation and invest in new water resources. These steps help protect us against drought by ensuring we have the water we need. And this year, these planning efforts are why we can ask for voluntary conservation instead of needing bigger, mandatory cutbacks.

Although we have sufficient water supplies, we can all do our part to help. Helix has permanent water-use efficiency measures that are always in effect. These measures are best practices to make sure we’re being water-wise every day, and they are things that most of you already do:

      • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and patios.
      • Stop irrigation runoff.
      • Don’t water for at least 48 hours after rain.
      • Use recirculated water in fountains and water features.
      • Use a hose with a positive shutoff nozzle when washing vehicles.
      • Serve water upon request at restaurants.
      • Offer guests at hotels and motels the option of not laundering towels and linens daily.

Our water shortage contingency plan includes six water shortage levels, with increasing restrictions that we can enact during times of drought or decreasing water supplies – when we need extra conservation efforts. Here are additional voluntary measures that you can take under Level 1:

      • Irrigate between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 a.m.
      • Limit watering with spray sprinklers to no more than 10 minutes per station, per day.
      • Use a hose with a positive shutoff nozzle or bucket if hand watering.
      • Repair all leaks within five days.

Thank you for your commitment to using water wisely. Keep up your efforts and explore our sustainability menu for more ways to help.




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