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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Water Shortages May Not Be Temporary

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Water officials say we need to re-think our use of the precious commodity. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce covered a water conservation summit in El Cajon Tuesday where the focus was on conservation and psychology.

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Video unavailable. Read transcript below.

Above: Environment reporter Ed Joyce speaks with San Diego Week host Gloria Penner about a recent water summit and explains why water rationing may become a way of life.

Video
Video unavailable. Read transcript below.

Above: KPBS reporter Sharon Heilbrunn asks whether we should be using so much water to grow grass in San Diego County.

Water officials say we need to re-think our use of the precious commodity. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce covered a water conservation summit in El Cajon Tuesday where the focus was on conservation and psychology.

At least two themes were clear at the summit:

The current water crisis is a long-term problem that won't be going away anytime soon.

And outdoor watering accounts for nearly 60 percent of water use in California and that needs to be reduced.

Maureen Stapleton is the General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority.

She says drought and regulatory restrictions could be the new norm for the region.

"This could be our future next year or the year after that or what have you," Stapleton says. "We don't know. We are dependent on Mother Nature and the state water project for each and every year. And I could do a whole presentation on climate change implications and it gets to be quite concerning."

Stapleton says 1946 was the last year San Diego county met its needs without importing water.

But now the county imports more than 80 percent of the supply.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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