County water use went up in February

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SAN DIEGO — Water consumption in San Diego County jumped 5 percent last month compared to February 2013 because of record-setting warm temperatures, the San Diego County Water Authority reported Friday.

Even so, county residents have still cut back water use a total of 21 percent since the state implemented water saving rules last June, according to the Water Authority. The state-mandated goal for San Diego County is a 20 percent reduction from 2013 usage levels.

“Weather plays a huge role in outdoor water consumption, and we saw that clearly last month, which was the hottest February on record,” said Dana Friehauf, SDCWA water resources manager.

“We’ve had some rain in March, but as the traditional end to our wet season nears, residents and businesses must continue the region’s success with conservation, either through wise outdoor water use when it’s dry or by complying with state law to leave irrigation off during rain events and for a minimum of 48 hours afterward when rain does fall,” Friehauf said.

Individual water agencies were required by the state to reduce consumption by 12 to 36 percent. Beginning this month, state water officials lowered those goals to between 8 and 29 percent, in light of efforts made locally to increase supply the drought-proof water supply, including the new Carlsbad desalination plant.

The countywide target is now 13 percent conservation, down from the previous target of 20 percent.

The SDCWA is the county’s primary water wholesaler, receiving imports and distributing local supplies to cities and water districts that, in turn, provide water to residents and businesses.

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