San Diegans urged to comply with mandatory water conservation rules

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SAN DIEGO – It’s time for all San Diegans to tighten their water use belts because of new conservation guidelines being put into place by the State Water Resources Control Board, effective August 1.

The panel has now enacted a Level 2 drought alert, which could mean $500 a day fines for water wasters who fail to comply with the mandatory 20 percent cutback.

Measures include watering only during the late evening or early morning hours, eliminating runoff from irrigation systems, repairing all leaks within 72 hours, turning off water fountains and other water features unless they recycle water.

Also, use hoses with shut-off valves for washing cars, serving water to restaurant patrons only on request, offering hotel guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily and using recycled or non-potable water for construction projects when available.

In San Diego County, drought management projects, including the raising of the San Vicente Dam, have made residents feel spared from the worst drought to hit California in a generation.

“I still tell people to conserve water where they can,” said 3rd District Supervisor Dave Roberts. “If you have leaky sprinklers fix them. Make sure your nozzle on the can shut off water and it doesn’t run down the street. Make sure water doesn’t leave your property.”

And as part of a deal to film her music video “G.U.Y.” at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Lady Gaga, produced a public service announcement supporting saving the precious resource.

“While I was there, I learned about the necessity of water conservation during this drought. Do your part to save water,” Gaga said.

San Diego native Tim Swikard said his family is already conserving by taking shorter showers and adjusting sprinkler timers. He has this advice for all residents.

“We pay a price to live here with the sunshine tax. Part of it is water rationing,” said Swikard.

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