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San Diego implements new water use restrictions

Residents and businesses are urged to limit water use by limiting irrigation and stop washing cars at home.

SAN DIEGO — Amid a worsening drought, the City of San Diego will implement tighter and more stringent water restrictions beginning Friday, June 10.

Vista Irrigation District customers can only water their landscape three days a week starting June 18. Leaks must be repaired in 48 hours. 

The Vallecitos Water District is asking its customers to limit irrigation to three days each week through the end of October.

The implementation of Level 2 water restrictions comes just weeks after Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to compel additional conservation measures.

Some San Diegans have already started taking their own steps to save water.

"We do timed showers because the kids would be in there all day," said Ashlee Fields. "We try to limit it to 10 to 15 minutes at most."

Others are getting creative with how they cutback.

"I take water from washing dishes and I go water plants because I want to make sure I save every bit because some people don't have that luxury," said Amber Hall.

Hall didn't waste any time to fix a broken irrigation pipe in her garden.

"I am actually leaving out of town Saturday, so I didn't want everything to waste water while I was gone. So, I found it and I'm here to fix it." 

RELATED: Californians could see mandatory water cuts amid drought

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According to state water agencies, Californians used 19 percent more water this past March than they did in 2020. Doing so, lowered California's cumulative water savings to just 3.7%.

For San Diego water customers, that means the following rules will be put into place:

  • Areas without irrigation systems must use a hand-held hose with a shutoff nozzle, hand-held container, or a timer-controlled garden hose sprinkler system.
  • Irrigation is no longer allowed during and within 48 hours of a rain event.
  • Landscape irrigation is limited to no more than three days per week before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. - this does not apply to commercial growers or nurseries, nor to the irrigation of golf course greens and tees.
  • Use of recycled or non-potable water, when available, is required for construction purposes.
  • Washing of vehicles at residences is prohibited.

The new rules will stay in effect for one year and are needed in order to avoid even harsher restrictions down the road.

“We are asking San Diegans to take these steps now, so we can help avoid a more dire situation in the near future,” said Director of the City’s Public Utilities Department, Juan Guerreiro. “Water is a precious resource and we must use our water wisely. We hope San Diegans will take the new restrictions to heart and take advantage of the range of rebates and water-saving tips offered.”

RELATED: Millions must cut water use in drought-stricken California

WATCH RELATED: Millions must cut water use in drought-stricken California

 The City of San Diego is asking that residents report any water abusers to the city's Get It Done app or call 619-533-5271.

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