Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach water district customers tighten taps, cut water use by 48 percent in July

Conservation in the Santa Fe Irrigation District (SFID) is ramping up as customers cut water use by a whopping 48 percent in July 2015, eclipsing the June reduction of 37 percent.

“It is clear that most of our customers are being very effective at cutting back water use and many have taken advantage of rebate programs to eliminate water-guzzling plants, improve irrigation systems and make other changes,” noted Michael Bardin, general manager of SFID. “Our customers are doing an impressive job conserving so far.”

Contributing to the water savings was an unusual rainstorm that dropped about an inch or more of rain in the area.

In July, SFID customers used 313 gallons per customer per day (g-cpd), which was a reduction of 48 percent below the 610 g-cpd for July 2013. The state-mandated target is 36 percent water demand reduction compared with 2013, a baseline year set by the State.

Meteorologists have predicted an El Nino weather pattern will continue and strengthen, which is an ocean-warming system that may increase rainfall this winter. However, state officials note that El Nino has only increased rain in three of the last seven rainy seasons when the effect was present. Thus, SFID is urging customers to continue to observe conservation restrictions and allocations.

“El Nino may begin to help in alleviating our water problems this winter by watering parched properties and helping fill local reservoirs, but that may only be short-term because predicted heavy rainfall in the south would mostly drain into the ocean,” said Bardin.

“Only if El Nino causes snow in Northern California, where most water is stored statewide, will we make big statewide progress in getting out of this four-year-long drought. Our customers in Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach and Fairbanks Ranch still need to remain vigilant in cutting water use.”

The district would like to remind customers that there are many programs and incentives available to help in water conservation. For example, the district offers a free residential survey in which a licensed landscaper will come to the customer’s property and help him or her become more efficient with their irrigation.

The district also offers rebates on rotating sprinkler nozzles, weather-based irrigation controllers, rain barrels and soil moisture sensors. There are also links to photos of model landscapes, lists of low water use plants, and more. All of this can be found on the website at

Customers are also encouraged to like the Santa Fe Irrigation District on Facebook, or follow #SFIDwatersavvy on Twitter.

— Submitted press release