San Diego gets high praise from Governor Brown for conserving wa - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego gets high praise from Governor Brown for conserving water

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The drought was the focus of Governor Jerry Brown's meeting Tuesday to discuss conservation efforts with city and business leaders. He commended San Diegans for meeting state conservation targets, but he also stressed the need to secure new water sources like the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which is scheduled to begin operating this fall.

[Drought Alert: Latest information on California's Drought]

The City of San Diego has cut 26 percent of its water use since May 2013, which is more than the 16 percent mandated by the State of California on June 1. But the governor is looking to tighten the belt even more.
Meantime, San Diego city leaders are preparing for a wet winter, which is expected to produce the most rain the area has seen since 1998. This is due to the strong El Niño predicted to pound Southern California with heavy rainfall starting this November.

In preparation, city leaders plan to conduct outreach in certain neighborhoods to remind residents how to keep flooding from becoming a big problem, and also plan to meet every two weeks until the rain hits.

[Related: San Diego emergency officials prepare for strong El Nino]
City of San Diego Public Information Officer Jose Ysea said last month's two-day long storm, which created havoc across the city and county, acted as a good indicator of what's ahead.

"We want to make sure that we're prepared that we're looking at all the possible scenarios. We're going to have to address and deal with once rains do come,” said Ysea.

City representatives said their other major concern are the resulting mudslides and they will make sure there are enough barriers and sandbags available. They will also be ready to deploy San Diego's Lifeguard Swift Water Rescue Team to provide support to areas in need, such as the Tijuana River Valley. 

Mission Hills is also another area susceptible to flooding. City officials said it is not just the design of the area that's the problem, but rather people who leave debris out that ends up clogging the drains.

The last significant El Nino was in 1997 and 1998, when 18 inches of rain fell in San Diego.

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