San Diego leaders urge residents to conserve water - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego leaders urge residents to conserve water

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Sherri Lightner urged San Diegans on Friday to abide by recently introduced statewide emergency drought legislation along with local water conservation measures already in place.

This week, the state water board tightened its watering restrictions and directed local agencies to limit the number of days residents can water their yards.

The stricter rules also came with a warning that even tougher regulations could come if conservation efforts are not increased. Additionally, Gov. Jerry Brown and other legislative leaders unveiled a package of bills aimed at expediting $1 billion in water-related projects as the state enters its fourth year of drought.

"Over the last few years, San Diegans have met the challenge to use water wisely by reducing their water usage by nearly 20 percent," Faulconer said. "Water supply levels remain at historic lows and we must challenge ourselves to conserve even more. Water is a precious resource in our region and wasting it is not an option."

Included in the state regulations was a provision that residents are barred from watering lawns or other outdoor landscapes within two days of measurable precipitation.

Faulconer and Lightner noted that San Diego already enacted some water conservation measures included in the state package. Last year, city officials called for mandatory water use restrictions which limited watering to three assigned days each week, limited fire hydrant water to firefighters, construction and health and safety uses; curbed irrigation during rain; and mandated that leaks be immediately repaired. Restaurants may only serve water upon request and hotel guests are not asked whether they want towels and linens laundered daily.

"As the state is announcing their mandatory restrictions, we in San Diego can proudly say that we have already begun implementing many of these measures which have led to considerable conservation," Lightner said. "In addition, city departments are working on further methods to conserve water, such as provisions for gray water reuse and re-initiating the successful turf replacement incentive program."

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