End to drought restrictions sent to City Council for vote - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

End to drought restrictions sent to City Council for vote

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A resolution declaring an end to San Diego's water emergency was forwarded to the City Council Wedday, but certain restrictions on use will remain in place.

Members of the council's Natural Resources and Culture Committee passed the resolution on a 4-0 vote, but Chairman David Alvarez and Carl DeMaio both said they opposed ending restrictions that engendered "behavior modifications" among water customers.

Restrictions adopted in June 2009 that would be dropped under the proposal include limiting irrigation to three days a week and 10 minutes each occasion; setting times of day that vehicles could be washed; barring use of fountains that do not reuse water; and requiring that leaks be fixed within 72 hours.

The restrictions will remain in place until the full City Council passes the resolution ending the water emergency.

The city will still encourage residents to conserve water.

The city's Public Utilities Department reported that reservoirs throughout the state were at or near capacity, while the water content of the snowpack in the Sierra mountains is 165 percent of normal. Gov. Jerry Brown declared the state's drought over last month, and the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District -- Southern California's water wholesaler -- voted last week to end cutbacks in deliveries to local water districts.

The board of the San Diego County Water Authority is expected to follow suit next week.

"I understand the supply situation is getting better but I'm not sure lifting the restrictions is the best way to go," Alvarez said.

He said customers cut back on use because, if they didn't, the city sent workers out to "educate them."

Members of the committee plan to take separate action in the future to amend the city's water ordinance to specify another time limit in which to repair leaks, and to place time restrictions on watering lawns.

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