Drought Updates & Information

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Drought Information

On June 22, 2016, Sweetwater Authority’s Governing Board voted to rescind the Level 2 - Drought Alert status and resume a Level 1 - Drought Watch status. Water waste prohibitions are still in place. A summary of these prohibitions and suggested uses is here. The Sweetwater Authority Drought Response Plan is available on-line.
These changes reflect action taken by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on May 18, 2016 to adopt a statewide water conservation approach that replaces the prior percentage-based water conservation standard. This new approach to water conservation is due to improved water supply conditions across the entire state, investments in drought-resistant local water supplies, and strong conservation efforts by all Californians. The new standard requires water agencies to self-certify the level of available water supplies assuming 3 additional dry years. Agencies that face a supply shortage after the third dry year will have a conservation standard equal to that shortage.

New Regulations

Under the new regulations, agencies may certify supply sufficiency on an individual or regional basis. All San Diego County Water Authority member agencies agreed to certify as a region. The San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) and its member agencies have sufficient water supplies to meet demands even during three additional dry years, and won't be subject to State mandated water use reductions through 2017, according to SDCWA calculations. Additional information on Sweetwater Authority's calculations and analysis can be found here.

Important Dates

  • May 31, 2018 -  Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two new bills that will require urban water providers throughout California to set new permanent water use targets for their service areas by 2022. Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668 provide the  framework.  There are no immediate impacts to customers from these new laws. Click here for additional details.
  • April 7, 2017 - Governor Brown officially declared the five-year-long drought over in most of California, lifting the state-wide drought emergency that had been in effect since January 2014. The declaration left in place the requirement that agencies report on their urban water usage, and continued the prohibition on eight wasteful water practices listed here.
  • May 18, 2016 - State eliminates mandatory water reduction goals. State water waste prohibitions enacted in April 2015 were made permanent.
  • February 2, 2016 - Restrictions Extended: On February 2, 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted an extension to the mandatory water use restrictions through October 2016.
  • April 1, 2015 - Mandatory Water Use Restrictions: On Wednesday, April 1, Governor Brown ordered mandatory water use reductions for the first time in California's history. Sweetwater Authority (Authority) is still analyzing all the details of this unprecedented action by the governor. The Authority's Governing Board and staff are reviewing the Governor's Executive Order and will be taking further steps later this month when it receives direction from the San Diego County Water Authority. However, no one should wait to take additional steps to save water. Customers are strongly encouraged to reduce landscape irrigation, shorten shower times, fix and/or report leaks, capture warm-up water in showers for use on plants, remove lawns and replace water-inefficient appliances.
  • January 17, 2014 - Governor Jerry Brown officially declared a Drought Emergency for the state of California. Despite the declaration, the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) stated it has adequate supplies for 2014. On Tuesday, July 15, California state officials ordered mandatory water conservation efforts statewide. Fines and restrictions set by the State of California Water Board went into effect on August 1, 2014.

Conservation Efforts

Sweetwater Authority (Authority) customers have done an excellent job at conserving water. The Authority would like to thank its customers for their conservation efforts, please keep up the good work!

For more information related to regional water supplies, please visit the SDCWA website.

Water Efficiency Information

Sweetwater Authority’s investments in drought-proof water resources over many decades have provided more flexibility in responding to current water supply conditions. For more information, call the Water Efficiency Helpline at 619-409-6779.

Access the ESRI Drought Tracker, and explore drought conditions across the state and country.