By Michael J. Bardin
General manager, Santa Fe Irrigation District
On July 1, mandatory restrictions on the use of potable water took effect within the Santa Fe Irrigation District. We at the district ask for your full cooperation in this communitywide effort to conserve water and ensure a reliable and sustainable supply of water in the months and years to come.
This is not an action the district wanted to take, but it became necessary due to the ongoing drought conditions. For the foreseeable future, water conservation will be a way of life for those of us living in this semi-arid region we call home.
The quickest and least expensive way to reduce overall demand and safeguard our water supply to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public is through conservation. That's why the SFID board of directors, on May 21, declared a Drought Response Level 2 Condition for the district's service area.
The declaration placed mandatory restrictions on water use for residential and business customers within the city of Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe and Fairbanks Ranch. Similar restrictions are being imposed throughout San Diego County and much of the Southwestern United States.
Why do we need to conserve? Because of the drought, water deliveries from our primary supplier, the San Diego County Water Authority, are being reduced by 8 percent for fiscal year 2010. Since the SFID also draws water from Lake Hodges and does not rely entirely on imported water, the district set a modest conservation goal of 6 percent.
While there are penalties for violating the mandatory water-use restrictions, we at the district hope it doesn't come to that. For a first violation, the customer will be notified by letter and asked to fix the problem.
Looking forward, the district is committed to protecting its water sources and investigating ways to increase its local supply of water. Programs include desalination, recycled water, and community outreach and education.
For news updates as well as information on water conservation and the Level 2 restrictions, visit the district's Web site:
- You can also follow district news and get water conservation tips on Twitter at