Mandatory water-use restrictions begin Friday

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Water Nozzle

SAN DIEGO- California’s mandatory water-use restrictions officially start Friday. State, county and local officials are hoping residents and businesses comply with the 20 percent cutback to avoid future fines of $500 per day.

“Save water now, save this summer. we really are counting on you,” said Ken Weinberg with the San Diego County Water Authority. “What we are really worried about here in San Diego County is if 2015 is dry. We’re living off our stored water right now and if we don’t use water this year, we leave it in storage for next year and that’s what’s really important.”

The Water Authority’s 24 member agency must now enforce their own guidelines to help save the precious resource.

“We can’t see anybody hosing down their driveways. We can’t see runoff from sprinklers going down gutters and the streets,” Weinberg said. “Everyone in the county is asking you to water three days a week and 10 minutes per sprinkler station.”

Mission Hills Nursery owner Tiger Palafox wants homeowners to look at their irrigation systems to make sure they are efficient. He said it may be time for people to switch from pop-up sprinklers to soaker tubes and drip lines systems which use less water. He also recommends changing the landscaping.

“Drought resistant plants can limit your water consumption and really bring it down 40 to 50 percent if you really think about it,” he said. “These plants are native to the area. They just rely on annual rainfall. They may not look so beautiful during the summer months. If you give them a little bit of water they will perk up and they will bloom.”

Palafox said to make sure ornamental fountains are using recycled water and to be a good neighbor if you spot a water waster.

“Carry a pad and paper with you and leave a note on the door,” he said. “Your neighbor may have a broken sprinkler, which could leak for a week to two weeks and they may not be aware of it.”

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