Special Edition
January 26, 2017
Before: Lake Oroville - January 21, 2016 (Bidwell Ca nyon Marina)
Water Authority Declares Drought Over in San Diego County
Record-setting winter precipitation in the Northern Sierra, coupled with heavy local rainfall and a significant snowpack in the upper Colorado River basin, prompted the San Diego County Water Authority's Board of Directors today to declare an end to drought conditions in the region. The Board resolution also calls on Gov. Jerry Brown and the State Water Resources Control
After: Lake Oroville - January 17, 2017 (Bidwell Canyon Marina)
Board to rescind the statewide emergency water-use regulation for areas of California that are no longer in drought conditions.

The Water Authority's supply forecast has continued to significantly improve with recent wet winter conditions, including a series of record-setting storms across California in January that benefited both statewide and local conditions. As of Jan. 23, San Diego's official rainfall measurement station at Lindbergh Field had recorded 172 percent of average rainfall since the start of the water year on Oct. 1. More importantly, the water content of snow in the Sierra Nevada, a prime water source for much of the state, was 193 percent of average as of Jan. 23. Meanwhile, snowpack levels were at 161 percent of average in the upper basin of the Colorado River.

The state's current emergency drought regulation is set to expire on Feb. 28, and the State Water Board is expected to decide whether to extend that regulation on Feb. 8. The Water Authority provided the State Board with written comments on the potential extension of the regulation ahead of the State Board's Jan. 18 workshop on urban water conservation regulation.

"Telling the public to continue extraordinary, emergency conservation measures when the drought emergency no longer exists undermines the credibility of state and local water agencies and erodes the effectiveness of communications during actual water supply emergencies," said Mark Muir, chair of the Water Authority's Board. "The state should focus its 2017 efforts on communities that actually need help meeting water quality standards and water demands. We will continue to promote water-use efficiency in the San Diego County no matter the weather."

For more information about classes, rebates and other programs designed to promote WaterSmart living in San Diego County, go to www.WaterSmartSD.org.
Did you see?

CW6 interviewed Dana Friehauf, water resources manager at the Water Authority, on Jan. 25 about regional water supplies and the Water Authority's request that the state rescind its drought emergency regulation.

"We're not experiencing drought conditions here in San Diego County and many other areas of the state," Friehauf said.

Click here to read more.
Low-Water-Use Plants Discounted at Spring Plant Fairs

As the days get longer, the Water Authority and nine member agencies are once again partnering with several local The Home Depot stores to offer discounts on water-efficient plants ideal for springtime planting. The San Diego County Garden Friendly Plant Fairs run from Feb. 20 to April 22 at seven locations of The Home Depot from Chula Vista to Oceanside.

The plant fairs feature discounted containers of water-wise plants such as lavender, bougainvillea, geranium and rosemary. Industry experts will be on site to provide information about water-efficient irrigation supplies and how to select and grow low-water-use plants.

Click here for details about plant fairs.