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Water Shortages May Not Be Temporary

Audio

Aired 6/3/09

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.

Video
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.

Comments

Avatar for user 'meximich'

meximich | June 3, 2009 at 10 a.m. ― 5 years, 6 months ago

It semms to me an ovbious and, ultimatelly, suitable "reaction" of water officials in SD under the current conditions and the foreseeable future of water availability in the Southwest. I, as a user living in the Colorado River downstream (Mexicali), think that strong conservation water measures must be implemented, however, not always the things we think or say are possible to put in practice since they represent huge social and economic costs to local societies. After the lining of the All-American Canal which will have enormous impacts in water avalability in the Mexicali area, particullarly in the Mexicali Valley, affecting initially almost 19,000 hectares, the twenty-two water users associations and their irrigation society are looking for funding to implement conservation measures. Nevertheless, the task isn't easy to them who uses eighty-six percent of the total water availability for Mexico coming from the Colorado River watercourse. Agricultural water users are awarned and worried about the climate change issues in the Colorado River basin as well as of the growing demands for water as a result of exponential growing population in border areas. As such, they need help and guidance to get money so that water conservation measures can be achieved in order to reduce local and transboundary water pressures. Since climate change, drought and increasing water demends are critical transboundary issues, binational solutions should be given and, in this sense, binational agencies like BECC/NadBank must support this kind of initiatives. At the end, we all belong to a strongly interdependent region.

Alfonso Andres Cortez Lara

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Avatar for user 'meximich'

meximich | June 3, 2009 at 10:02 a.m. ― 5 years, 6 months ago

sorry, I wanted to write "It seems to me an obvious....."

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