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San Diego County Has ‘Sufficient Water Supplies’ as Drought Grips California

Carlsbad desalination plan
The desalination facility in Carlsbad is a drought-resistant source of water for San Diego County. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Despite a drought emergency declaration in northern and central California, the San Diego County Water Authority said Tuesday the region was well-positioned to weather multiple years of drought.

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded a drought emergency declaration from Sonoma and Mendocino counties to 41 counties.

About 30% of the state’s population is now covered by the drought declarations, including the greater Sacramento area and Fresno, Merced and Stanislaus counties in the San Joaquin Valley. Southern California has largely been excluded from the declarations.

“Governor Newsom’s latest drought emergency declaration is a grim reminder of the growing water supply challenges across California — and of the value of three decades of our collective dedication to use water efficiently combined with strategic investments that protect San Diego County from dry years,” said Gary Croucher, board chair of the San Diego County Water Authority. “Thanks to efforts of ratepayers, the water authority and our 24 member agencies, we have sufficient water supplies for 2021 and the foreseeable future.”

This is the second major drought California has experienced in a decade. The last one ran from 2012-16.