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Water Conservation Plan For San Diego



A new report from a San Diego group offers several strategies for saving water here. The report says the region's efforts to manage water have been woefully inadequate. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has details.


The Utility Consumers Action Network offers several recommendations to encourage water efficiency.


UCAN's Michael Shames says it's a matter of reducing water waste not restricting water use.


Shames: We also have some suggestions about different ways of enforcing and policing water wasters and also new rate schedules, different ways of pricing water so that you encourage people to conserve or to use water more wisely. And more importantly, also to reward people who use water wisely.


He says tiered rate structures for commercial and residential water users would make that happen.


Bob Yamada is a water resources manager with the San Diego County Water Authority. 


He wouldn't comment on the recommendations but.. .


Yamada: What I will say is that boy we welcome any organization or any report that that encourages water use efficiency and encourages water conservation.


UCAN's Shames says educational efforts alone are not enough to promote conservation. He says county leaders need to step up and embrace water-saving ideas used in other regions.


Shames: And what we've done is we've taken an inventory of what other cities and other places have done they're all politically viable ideas and ideas that have worked. And said, let's throw these out, let's have a discussion about them, let's not be timid anymore. Because we really do need some bold action and a clear vision as to how we're going to address this region's water issues. Not just this year or next year but literally for the next century.


Shames says the region's water supply is tight -- and likely to stay that way.


Ed Joyce, KPBS News.


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