Drought/Water Supply Updates


Vallecitos Board of Directors Declares Drought Over  

At a regular meeting on February 15, 2017, Vallecitos' Board voted to rescind the voluntary drought restrictions under its “Level 1 – Drought Watch.” Vallecitos customers may now irrigate any day of the week with no limit on the number of watering days, and may irrigate their landscapes for as many minutes as needed. However, the Board continued to express their desire to sustain water conservation as a permanent way of life. Vallecitos’ ordinance still permanently prohibits wasteful practices, such as:

  • Watering between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Watering within 48 hours of a measurable rain event
  • Visible irrigation runoff
  • Hosing down hardscapes (patios, sidewalks, etc.)
  • Not using a shut-off nozzle when washing cars
  • Not fixing leaks within 48 hours of discovery
  • Restaurants only serving water on request
  • Full list of permanent restrictions

Vallecitos’ resolution was taken in response to the San Diego County Water Authority’s action on January 26, 2017, declaring the drought over in San Diego County. Neither the Water Authority nor Vallecitos are experiencing supply shortages due to drought. The San Diego region has invested approximately $3.5 billion over the past three decades to increase regional water supply reliability, including upgraded conveyance systems, additional water storage capacity and seawater desalination. Vallecitos has a direct connection to the desalination plant in Carlsbad and obtains more than a quarter of its annual supplies from this drought proof source.

Vallecitos met its mandatory savings target after the state imposed emergency regulations in 2015 to achieve the governor’s goal of an overall 25 percent cut in urban water use. In May 2016, the state updated its emergency regulation to a water supply “stress test” methodology that took actual levels of local supply reliability into account. Under that system, a thorough analysis conducted by the Water Authority determined that Vallecitos has sufficient supplies to avoid shortages even if it experiences three more dry years.

Conservation is still important to maintain long-term water supplies, so how can customers help?

  1. Be sure to comply with the permanent water-use restrictions.  

  2. When Vallecitos previously had patrols searching for water waste, most violations they saw in the community were for sprinkler runoff, which occurs when the water from the sprinklers over-sprays or drains onto hard surfaces, such as the sidewalk or gutter. To avoid these problems, periodically test run your sprinklers to check for broken or misaligned heads, broken pipes, runoff, etc. 

  3. Report any water waste that you see in your neighborhood. Click here to make an anonymous report. 

  4. Take advantage of the many conservation programs available, such as rebates on water-efficient appliances or having a free landscape irrigation audit to locate leaks and other water waste at your property. As landscape irrigation accounts for 50-80 percent of the water used at residential properties within the District's service area, this is usually where customers can see the largest water savings.
  5. For conservation information and tips on how to save water, please browse through the conservation pages of our website or contact the District's Conservation Department at (760) 744-0460. 

What is Vallecitos doing to secure a sustainable water supply future?

Expanding on the sustainability principles that guided the formation of the District, Vallecitos has initiated a number of projects through the years to ease elevated water demands today for availability tomorrow.  For example, Vallecitos recycles up to 5 million gallons per day or 74 percent of the wastewater generated in its service area at the District's Meadowlark Water Reclamation Facility to reduce the demand for imported water to the region. The District continues to participate in the North San Diego Water Reuse Coalition, with the purpose of matching areas with high recycled water demand to facilities that can produce enough recycled water to meet that demand. Vallecitos customersalso benefit from the recently completed Claude "Bud" Lewis Desalination Plant in Carlsbad.  The arrival of water from this local source complements imported supplies, increasing availability despite drought and regulatory issues that have threatened Vallecitos' supplies in the past. To learn more about Vallecitos' sustainability measures, click here

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