Study finds most water usage in Santa Fe district

District includes Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach

SAN DIEGO - A report by the Equinox Center research group shows the Santa Fe District, which includes Rancho Santa Fe and Solana beach, dramatically more water per person than anywhere else.

Last month, the metropolitan water district approved a 15 percent rate increase over the next two years, but the county is expected to raise rates even higher next month because of an extra charge it has to pay for importing water.

Just outside Rancho Santa Fe, the water is on at Aron Stein’s house

“It’s always sticker shock,” said Stein.

He pays a $500 dollar monthly water bill for his one-acre property.

“I know that every time bills come, it’s time to commiserate with my wife,” he said.

According to the Equinox Center research group, San Diego and the Sweetwater District, which includes parts of South Bay, uses less than a hundred gallons per person per day.

Valley Center uses about 250 gallons per person.In North County, the Olivenhain District uses 272 gallons and the Santa Fe District, which includes Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach uses 544 gallons per person.

While sinks and showers use water but more than half of all residential water usage is landscaping.

In places like Rancho Santa Fe, landscaping is extensive. Water use by residents is closely tied to lot size, which means the larger the lot, the more water used.

More water saved since mandatory water restrictions began, with usage in big lot areas dropping more than in urban areas like San Diego.

Back at the Stein home, Stein has replaced grass with low-water plants and gardens. He’s been able to cut his usage and water bill in half.

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