Community Insider Summer 2017 - Page 32

and snow continued through the winter, filling reservoirs to levels so high that officials were forced to make releases. Snowpack levels also made an impressive recovery.  By the time of Brown’s announcement, the water content in California’s snowpack was approximately 160 percent of the considered normal level for the season, compared to the approximately 5 percent of average from the time the emergency was declared. However, as the “official” drought ended, the experience of the drought continued to influence policy.  State planners look to continue water conservation in the years ahead, and some prohibitions against wasting water (like hosing off sidewalks) will remain.  “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” said Brown, in a statement. “Conservation must remain a way of life.” In San Diego, Level 1 Drought Watch voluntary restrictions remain in place. These are complemented by the permanent, mandatory restrictions (since 2011), which remain in effect year-round. The following are voluntary water-use restrictions: • Limit watering of landscapes to no more than three days per week. • Odd numbered addresses should water Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. • Even numbered addresses should water Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday. • Apartments, condos and businesses should water Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. S By John T. Barnes ix years after it began, the prolonged drought in California it is finally over. In April, Governor Jerry Brown lifted the drought emergency for most of the state.   In 2014, Brown declared the state of emergency as California endured one of its driest years on record. The drought saw snowpack levels fall dramatically and reduced reservoirs to critically low levels.  In response, Brown mandated a 25 percent reduction in urban water use. As the drought dragged on, stat e officials issued rules to restrict water use and what it could be used for.  To help urban areas cut water consumption, many California water suppliers established rebate 32 | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER What We Can Do For You: Drought’s Over - Can I take my long shower now? | SUMMER 2017 programs to encourage residents to replace lawns with drought-tolerant plants and ground cover.  Various cities and counties adopted their own water restrictions. Communities were told what days of the week watering of yards could be done, and how long the water could be on.  Gone were the days of casually hosing down the plants, and Californians said goodbye to hosing down driveways. Lawns once green and lush, turned dry and brown, and by one estimate, approximately 100 million trees died.   Californians largely complied with the restrictions.  Water use was slashed by more than 22 percent between June 2015 and January 2017.  Then, beginning in October 2016, a series of massive storms hit Northern California. The rain WWW.CAI-SD.ORG • Determine whether or not you are entitled to refunds as a result of utility company over- charges, and secure those refunds for you... retroactively. • Enable you to enjoy on-going utility savings as you avoid needless overcharges and utility billing errors in the years ahead. • Obtain the lowest possible water, sewer, telephone, trash, gas and electric utility bills in the future. PACIFIC UTILITY AUDIT 1-800-576-1010 Since 1989