Rancho Santa Fe Association aims to form Water Task Force

The Rancho Santa Fe Association and Santa Fe Irrigation District hope to team up on a new Water Task Force as the community faces a request for a 50 percent reduction in water use. As Association Manager Bill Overton said, the water problems and drought challenges facing Rancho Santa Fe are bigger than the Association can handle on its own.

The Santa Fe Irrigation District has not officially chartered the task force yet, but Overton said the plan would be for Association staff to work with staff at SFID. The Water Task Force would also be composed of representatives from Fairbanks Ranch and Solana Beach.

The idea for the task force came from several in-depth brainstorming discussions among Overton, President Ann Boon and SFID Manager Mike Bardin.

“Mike believes that the biggest help the Association can provide is through communications and education,” Overton said. “He is very excited about the many ideas that have come out of CONE (Committee on the Natural Environment), such as community meetings, mailers, newspaper articles and website links.”

Getting reclaimed water to the RSF Golf Course is one idea that many have presented, but as Overton noted, that represents only 1.4 percent of all the community’s water use. They still have a long way to go to meet the conservation goals.

Overton said that the Association plans to comply with the mandatory conservation restrictions and while “it’s going to get tough,” the Association intends to lead by example. He encouraged residents not to complain if they see the Association-owned ballfields go brown.

Board member Jerry Yahr questioned letting the community’s playfields go brown and asked that the Association look into the possibility of installing artificial turf, noting that there are rebates for those kinds of conservation measures. Overton said staff would pursue the idea and get an application in for the state rebate before the June 30 deadline.

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