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By Emily Rasmussen

The city of San Juan Capistrano is asking residents to conserve their water usage as a three-week water maintenance project is underway from March 19 to April 10.

The city’s main source of import potable water will be shut down starting Monday, March 19, as the Joint Transmission Main of the Joint Regional Water Supply System will be out of service for the three-week period. The city is urging residents to take extra measures to conserve water to ensure the city can provide adequate water services and reserves, a city press statement said.

“The city is requesting voluntary water conservation measures at this time,” Assistant City Manager Jacob Green said in an email. “The city will be assessing our water storage levels daily and if the levels cause any capacity concerns, the city will notify the community and consider mandatory water conservation measures. The city will not be monitoring individual accounts at this point but are hopeful that citywide conservation efforts will be initiated by all residents.”

The Joint Transmission Line of the Joint Regional Water Supply System supplies 50 percent of San Juan Capistrano’s potable water, with the other 50 percent coming from local groundwater production and other sources. Even with additional import sources, the city will need to achieve at least a 20 percent reduction in potable water use during the three-week period to avoid an impact to water service, the statement said.

“This is being done for some critical maintenance that needs to be done on that line,” said Steve May, Director of Public Works and Utilities, at a City Council meeting on March 6.

Landscape irrigation accounts for 50-75 percent of the city’s potable water usage, May said.

The city is requesting that residents discontinue landscape irrigation with potable water beginning March 19, or at least reduce irrigation to the absolute minimum, the press statement said.

WHAT’S NEXT: The city will be shutting down its irrigation in every park and landscape median, with the exception of recycled water, May said at the meeting.

“With these measures, we expect we can get through this shutdown period without any interruption in water service and still maintain suitable water reserve for fire protection,” May said.

For more information, call the city’s utility department at 949.234.4400 or visit the city’s website at

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