SAN DIEGO - San Diegans with yards and plants to water have fewer hours in the day to actually water.
The city of San Diego's Water Department has imposed the summer irrigation restrictions. During the cooler months, San Diegans are being asked to water between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. However, from June 1 through October 31, San Diegans are only allowed to water after 6:00 p.m. and before 10:00 a.m.
It's a far cry from the severe water restrictions imposed on residents during the statewide drought. During that time, San Diegans were asked to water for about 8 minutes at a time, during those late hours, and only three days a week.
Those severe restrictions were lifted shortly after the state declared the drought emergency over. However, many San Diegans continued conserving water.
"This is really good news," said San Diego Water Department spokesman Chris Robbins.
According to the Water Department, San Diegans are only using 2 percent more water than they were during the severe drought conditions.
"It tells you that people are still sticking with it, that they're continuing to make good decisions on how they're going to use water," said Robbins.
It also means more and more San Diegans are ditching their green grass yards for drought-tolerant landscaping.
"[There are] really no more new grass installations. It's really just taking out what they currently have and redoing it into a drought-tolerant landscape," said Jesse Laguna of Nature's Elements Landscaping.
Laguna said he used to get calls to install full grass lawns about 10 times a year. He said he's lucky to get one.
"People are actually looking for a way to save water," said Laguna.
That trend could continue, as the winter months did not bring the same rain and snow that got California out of the drought last year.
This winter's snowfall in the Sierra Nevada was only 54 percent of what the state usually gets. That coupled with a warm summer could bring back heavy restrictions, even a statewide drought.
"Residents, and City Departments I am proud to say, are continuing to eliminate water waste and we want to encourage that behavior year-round and especially during the region's warmer months" said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. "It wasn't too long ago that we were dealing with water cutbacks and had to rethink our water-use behaviors. We must always remember the value of water, use it wisely and never waste it."
For more information, go to WasteNoWater.org or call the Public Utilities Department at (619) 515-3500.