State lets local water boards set conservation goals

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SAN DIEGO – State regulators have approved new water conservation rules that could loosen water restriction imposed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year.

The State Water Resources Control Board voted 4-0 Wednesday to allow local water districts to set their own water savings targets based on the water supply and demand forecasts for their areas, the Los Angeles Times reported. As a result, areas of the state that received a lot of rain this winter and areas that purchase water from suppliers with adequate supplies will be able to relax restrictions this summer.

Areas of the state that didn't receive a lot of rainfall will likely have to continue limiting landscape irrigation and car washing.

Through 2015, all California residents were asked to cut water use by 20 to 25 percent.

It was not immediately clear how the new policy will affect San Diego residents. Rainfall in the county was slightly below average this year, but most of the water used by San Diegans is imported. Much of it is purchased from the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District or from Colorado River water allocated to farmers in Imperial County.