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While most of the state is now drought-free, water conservation is still encouraged

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Posted at 6:49 PM, Jun 07, 2023

California was in a drought for years, and now that most of the state has been declared drought-free, cities are beginning to loosen their restrictions.

The San Luis Obispo City Council approved transitioning back to the monitor stage of the city's Water Shortage Contingency plan in May of this year.

Utilities Director Aaron Floyd says the city currently has a 10-year water supply.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate. We have a little bit of time to take a breath. Our reservoirs are full again,” Floyd said.

The city has lifted some water regulations — it no longer prohibits watering outside of the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.; however, other regulations are still in place.

“Don’t wash down your concrete sidewalk, don't allow your water just to run. If you’re washing your car, don’t allow the hose to run open. Don’t irrigate your lawn if you are in the middle of a rainstorm,” Floyd said.

Mike Gill, a San Luis Obispo resident, says he has lived in the area for many years and plans to continue to conserve water despite the drought regulations that were lifted.

“We changed our landscaping to drought-tolerant plants to conserve water and we also collect rainwater,” Gilman said.

Nick Deinhart, Production Manager at Growing Grounds, says while most of the plants grown at the farm were developed to adapt to normal California weather, they are also conscious of water conservation.

"We feel that being conscious of water use and water wise is still just as important," Deinhart said.

The city says residents can also continue saving water by keeping an eye out for leaks and replacing inefficient appliances and plumbing fixtures.

“This is great news. We are out of the current drought; however, I think what the state wants to share with all the cities is there are a handful of these continuing rules and regulations that we need you to continue to comply with,” Floyd said.

Floyd also wants to emphasize that overall, the San Luis Obispo community is doing a good job conserving water.

The City of San Luis Obispo also has a new water conservation rebate program that can help you replace old appliances and fixtures.