The Rancho Santa Fe Post

SFID Suspends Water Penalties for RSF and Solana Beach Customers

Tagged in

Author Joe Tash, from the Rancho Santa Fe Review weighs in on the recent decision made by the SFID to stop water-use penalties. Below are some notable excerpts:

“Customers of the Santa Fe Irrigation District will no longer face penalties for using more than their monthly allotment of water, after the district's board of directors voted to suspend a controversial water allocation program.

The district established the allocation program - a form of water rationing - for the first time in its 93-year history in May, following a state mandate that the agency cut its water use by 36 percent, or face daily fines of up to $10,000. At the time, California was grappling with a four-year drought. The restrictions resulted in some district customers receiving penalties of hundreds of dollars, according to testimony at the board's meeting on Thursday, Jan, 21…

Under the water allocation program adopted by the board last year, residents were required to cut their outdoor water use by 45 percent, or face penalties. The board voted Thursday to suspend that program on a 5-0 vote, noting that conditions are changing, including more rainfall this winter, brought on by warmer ocean temperatures known as an El Niño condition…

Officials praised customers for cutting back their water use by an average of more than 30 percent each month since the restrictions were imposed, and noted that further cutbacks are especially difficult during the winter months, when water use is already low…

The district left in place mandatory water-use restrictions, including a prohibition on watering more than twice a week, or for more than 10 minutes at a time. Car-washing in driveways is also banned. Violations of the rules carry fines, which escalate for repeat offenses.”

Read the full story at the Rancho Santa Fe Review.