Drought Watch: How cities and water districts will meet mandatory restrictions

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Some of the biggest water-offenders are people who live in the Santa Fe irrigation district which includes Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach.

During the month of March on average, every person used more than 350 gallons of water a day.

More than half of the residential water use in San Diego County is for landscape irrigation.

Lamont Foster’s new full-time duty is looking for water violators in the Santa Fee Irrigation District, an area that used an average of 377 gallons of water per person every day in March.

Right now, Rancho Santa Fe is in a Level 2 Drought Emergency, which means homeowners can water only three days a week for 10 minutes.

It’s very likely the region will soon go down to two day a week watering, with raised rates and increased fines for those who break the rules.

It’s all because they have to reduce their usage by 36 percent. 

Rancho Santa Fe is the land of large sweeping green lawns where the average lot size is 10 acres.

Two of the three golf courses in the area are suing recycled water.

Brown is the new green in California, but brown equals dry and dry brush fuels wildfires.

The Witch fire ripped through Rancho Santa Fe last May.

Marnie Bingham, a resident of Rancho Santa Fe, is worried it may happen again.

“I don’t know what the solution is  but I think my next door neighbor was right to rip it all out and get some good drought tolerant stuff…guess we all have to,” she said.

The Santa Fe Irrigation District which also includes Solana Beach, is offering rebates for turf removal.

The Santa Fe Irrigation Board is meeting Thursday night to discuss whether a Level 3 Drought Emergency is necessary.

But before they can raise fines and rates, they have to notify everyone and give people a chance to comment.

They are hoping people take the initiative and cut back on their own.

Categories: Drought Watch