The San Diego County Water Authority is urging residents and businesses to help the region conserve water by turning off their outdoor watering systems today in advance of three storm systems moving into the region starting tonight. Water Authority officials say residents and businesses may be able to keep their landscape watering systems off for a week or more after these storms.
National Weather Service forecasters predict by Monday the combined storms could deliver 1-2 inches of rain in coastal areas and 4-8 inches of rain and possibly snow to mountain areas.
The first storm is expected to bring light rain as early as late tonight and through Friday. NWS forecasters predict the second, stronger storm will hit Friday night or Saturday morning. A third, colder storm should arrive by early Sunday, dropping the snow level to as low as 4,000 feet and possibly continuing to bring rain to coastal areas through the afternoon.
Residents and businesses may be able to leave their watering systems off for a week and perhaps longer depending on the amount of rainfall received and if cooler temperatures continue. To determine when it is necessary to turn water systems on, the Water Authority recommends monitoring soil moisture. Check the top inch of soil. If it still is moist, it contains enough water to supply the plants.
The region’s water supplies have been impacted by extremely dry conditions around California over the last year, as well as by an eight-year drought in the Colorado River basin. In addition, court-ordered pumping restrictions on the State Water Project are now in effect. Water officials expect these restrictions to reduce water deliveries from Northern California through 2008 and potentially beyond.
For more water conservation tips, incentives and programs, visit www.20gallonchallenge.com. To help estimate the right amount of water to give landscapes or gardens anywhere in the region, use the City of San Diego’s Landscape Watering Calculator at www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation
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