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Mayor Sanders: SD Residents Not Conserving Enough Water

San Diego residents are not conserving enough water  and may soon face mandatory rationing, Mayor Jerry Sanders warned again today.

The mayor's warning follows Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent  declaration of a statewide drought emergency.

"Everyone in California, especially here in San Diego where nearly 90  percent of our water comes from imported sources, must fundamentally change the  way we think about and use water," Sanders said.

The mayor's office cautioned that the city as a whole has fallen short  of conservation goals and may soon face "painful" mandatory restrictions on  water use.

Sanders has directed the Water Department to develop a plan for  rationing to be implemented on July 1.

"I understand how unsettling talk of water allocations may seem," the  mayor said. "But, given the governor's request for an immediate 20 percent  reduction in water use and his mention of potential mandatory cutbacks, I think  everyone can now see what a serious issue this is for San Diego and the state  as a whole."

Sanders first announced the potential for water rationing in San Diego  in January, when the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which  supplies most of the city's water supplies, said it will have to slash  deliveries to the region by as much as 20 percent.

Back then, Sanders said San Diego residents had cut back on their water  use by only about 5 percent since he raised the alarm over a year ago by  declaring a "stage 1" water emergency.

Despite the recent rains, California has experienced several years of  drought. That, combined with recent restrictions on the amount of water that  can be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to protect an  endangered fish, means likely shortages.

Sanders' announcement was made at a Tierrasanta home that achieved  substantial water savings due to the installation of drought-resistant  landscaping.


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