August Water News


Latest News for Customers of Santa Fe Irrigation District:

  • S.F.I.D. water usage – 48% in July 2015, compared to July 2013.  This effort is our best result since the Governor’s April 1st Executive Order.  Yeah!! (January usage + 3%; February usage + 30%; March usage + 4%; April usage + 9%; May usage – 42%; June usage – 37 %)
  • The August 20th S.F.I.D. Board meeting did not discuss the Cost of Service Study, which is a precursor to establishing new rates.  The Board decided to add four additional Board meetings between now and the end of the year:  9/3/15; 10/1/15; 11/5/15; and 12/3/15.  These meetings are tentatively scheduled to begin at 9:30am. The September 3rd meeting, which will start at 9:30am, will have an agenda item to discuss the current allocation policy. *NOTE: (These four Special Meetings will start at 9:30 am, rather than the traditional 8:30 am.)
  • Speaking of the current allocation policy, customers applying for an allocation variance must accompany their variance request form with a $50.00 application fee.  For more details about allocation variances, click onto  Click the “Conservation” tab at the top; click onto “Allocations, Restrictions and Penalties”; click on the 3rd link, “Frequently asked Questions page”, which provides the HCF formula/tree; then click on the 2nd link, “Allocation Variance Request Form”.   (Note:  it is my understanding that allocation variances are applied going forward, not retroactively; therefore, turning in those variance applications prior to water bills received after September 1st will more efficiently spread the fifty dollar application fee across a greater time period.)
  • Governor Brown’s Executive Order of April 1st, which set in motion these cutbacks, expires February 28, 2016.  The Governor met with local water leaders in San Diego several weeks ago.  One upshot of that meeting was that the Governor became more educated about the extensive and expensive projects San Diego Water Authority has put in place to make our region less dependent on water from Northern California.  It remains to be seen what further demands the Governor might place on Irrigation Districts up and down our State once his Order expires.  (No doubt the resolution of the El Nino 2015-2016 predictions will have some effect.)
  • Since we do not know what the future will bring regarding El Nino, and the Governor’s previous history of Executive Orders, I suggest the following:   Take numerous photographs of your landscape to document precisely how your cutbacks affected your landscape.  We have responded to the Governor’s directive. Our landscapes look it.  Our water use history now includes this period of severe cutbacks establishing a new low baseline.  Who knows how this baseline might be held against us in the future.  If the El Nino hits San Diego this fall, and we haven’t carefully documented how the 45% cutbacks affected our landscapes before the rains hit, we might find ourselves at a disadvantage if, in the future, we need to produce photographs of exactly how this low baseline water usage affected the condition of our landscapes.
  • El Nino (ENSO) Alert System Status Advisory:  NOAA Climate Prediction Center updated their prediction August 13th.  Collective scientific predictions held steady at a greater than 90% prediction El Nino will continue through winter 2015-16, and they increased their prediction 5%, to around an 85% chance it will last into early spring 2016.
  • I found our local Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s Experimental Climate Prediction Center has an intriguing site written in a down-to-earth manner that even children would find informative.  I particularly enjoyed their 3-D monthly charts of the really big El Nino of 1997-98.  These 3-D charts effectively illustrated the huge areas of above average ocean currents approaching the California coast and then virtually disappearing when the El Nino broke down.        click right-hand column under “El Nino and La Nina”   
  • Finally, my favorite El Nino prediction description after the August 13th update: