Otay Water District Declares a Shortage Level 1 Drought Alert

Otay Water District Declares a Shortage Level 1 Drought Alert

13:00 29 October in News

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               
Media Contact:
Tenille M. Otero
(619) 670-2256 Office
(619) 733-1479 Mobile

October 29, 2021

Otay Water District Declares a Shortage Level 1 Drought Alert
Conservation Rebates, Incentives, Classes, and Resources Are Available to Customers

Spring Valley, CA Today, the Otay Water District declared a Shortage Level 1 Drought Alert under its Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP). The move follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s declaration of a statewide drought and the recent vote of the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors to activate a Shortage Level 1 under its WSCP. A Shortage Level 1 Drought Alert urges customers to voluntarily reduce water use by 10%. The District is further calling for its customers to voluntarily reduce use by 15% to align with the Governor’s July 2021 Executive Order. According to the District’s WSCP, the existence of Level 1 may be declared by the District’s general manager. Level 1 also includes increased conservation messages and outreach efforts.

The Governor’s July Executive Order called on Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 15% from 2020 volumes to protect water reserves and complement local conservation mandates. In August, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) reported that California reduced urban water use by only 5% compared to 2020. The governor’s Oct. 19 proclamation added eight counties not included in the previous drought state of emergency and requires local water suppliers to implement water shortage contingency plans that are responsive to local conditions and prepare for the possibility of a third dry year. The proclamation also authorizes the SWRCB to ban wasteful practices, including the use of potable water for washing sidewalks and driveways.

“Drought is an ongoing cyclical reality for Southern California,” said Otay General Manager Jose Martinez. “We thank our customers for rising to the challenge during previous droughts, and we are confident that they will continue to do their part to save water. We will continue to work with regional agencies to offer conservation programs, encouraging everyone to take full advantage of all water-saving rebates and resources available to them.”

San Diego County is better prepared for drought than other parts of the state, having invested heavily in water conservation, water recycling, seawater desalination, and transitional storage over the last 20-plus years. Still, severe drought in other parts of California can affect everyone. Despite recent rainfall, consecutive seasons with limited rain and snow melt will force regional wholesale suppliers to begin to draw down key reservoirs serving San Diego County. The San Diego region and its water agencies continue to monitor state direction for the potential need for extraordinary water conservation measures. If the drought continues and worsens, the water we save today could forestall more strict conservation measures later.

Otay customers can do their part and increase their water savings by taking full advantage of water-saving rebates, incentives, classes, and resources available through the Otay Water District, the Water Authority, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Water-use efficiency programs available to customers include:

  • Landscape classes for residential and professional landscapers through the Water Conservation Garden and the Water Authority
  • Increased rebate incentives for turf replacement
  • Direct install of water saving devices for low-income customers through a partnership with SDG&E (coming soon)
  • Assistance for professional landscape customers who want to help their customers save water and money
  • Free WaterSmart indoor and outdoor checkups for owners of commercial, industrial, institutional/public, multifamily (apartments, mobile home parks, condominiums, homeowner, or community associations), and single-family properties
  • Commercial plumbing, landscaping, and food equipment rebates
  • Residential indoor and outdoor rebates and incentives, which include:
  • $2 per nozzle rotating sprinkler nozzles (minimum of 30)
  • $50 rebate for rain barrels (maximum of 2)
  • $80 per moisture sensor ($35 per irrigation controller)
  • $250-$350 rebate for cisterns (depends on capacity ranging from 200-1,000+ gallon capacity, maximum of 1)
  • $135 rebate for high-efficiency clothes washers
  • $40 rebate for high-efficiency toilets (1.1 gallon per flush or less)
  • Up to $120 rebate for weather-based irrigation controllers (less than one irrigated acre) or $35 per station (more than one irrigated acre) for residential sites
  • A $2 per square-foot rebate to replace existing grass turf with water-efficient landscaping features
  • Incentives to unincorporated area residential and commercial customers

Otay customers can learn how to save water and help to protect the region’s water reserves by visiting watersmartsd.org for a complete list of rebates, incentives, classes, and water saving resources.

To learn more about what conservation practices remain in effect and for more information on water-use efficiency and other resources available to Otay’s customers, visit otaywater.gov/conservation. For details on Leve1 Shortage response and the drought, visit otaywater.gov/drought.

 The Otay Water District is a public agency providing water, recycled water, and sewer service to nearly 226,000 customers within approximately 125 square miles of southeastern San Diego County, including the communities of eastern Chula Vista, Bonita, Jamul, Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego, unincorporated areas of El Cajon and La Mesa, and eastern Otay Mesa. For more information on the Otay Water District, visit otaywater.gov.