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Survey: Quality Of Life In San Diego Trending Upward

Aired 4/22/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS

Ray Ellis, Board Member, Equinox Center

Matt O'Malley, Waterkeeper, San Diego Coastkeeper

Transcript

Audio

Aired 4/22/14

San Diego received generally positive marks in a quality of life "report card" released by the Equinox Center at a news conference Monday.

San Diego received generally positive marks in a quality of life "report card" released by the Equinox Center at a news conference Monday.

The think tank's Quality of Life Dashboard uses 13 economic and environmental indicators to help gauge quality of life in the region.

Just over half of the indicators are trending upward for San Diego. The report found the workforce is growing, venture capital is strong and there is less trash going into landfills.

However, Lani Lutar, the center’s executive director, said air quality has declined a bit, energy use rose and there are concerns about water.

“Unfortunately, what we’re seeing is there has been a 5 percent increase in water consumption overall in the region. And that’s troubling because, as you know, we are currently in the state of a significant drought and we all need to be doing as much as possible to conserve water,” Lutar said.

The report also found water quality at beaches got better and park access improved. Lutar said the region also got good marks for developing solar power.

“We’re an area that leads in solar power and that is directly connected to electric vehicles, because they can have access to that renewable energy,” Lutar said.

San Diegans own 1 in 5 of California’s 30,000 electric cars. The Center For Sustainable Energy’s Len Hering said about half of all the rebates issued for electric cars in California were handed out last year.

“The number of EVs on the road is nearly up 9 percent. Rebates totaled nearly $5 million in 2012 and the number has dramatically risen over the past year,” Hering said.

Infrastructure for electric cars is also improving. One private company has installed eight fast charging stations for electric cars in San Diego, and the Equinox Center's report says UC San Diego plans to have a total of 54 charging outlets by spring 2014.

Comments

Avatar for user 'jenjen'

jenjen | April 22, 2014 at 2:05 p.m. ― 3 months, 1 week ago

I'd love to see the water issue dug into in more detail. Water conservation has been on peoples' minds for a long time. Is this due to more local agriculture within the city boundaries? More water main breaks? Do we know?

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Avatar for user 'RichardRider'

RichardRider | April 23, 2014 at 9:54 a.m. ― 3 months, 1 week ago

Declining San Diego air quality? I think not.

Look at the last five years' data from the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District. In just about every pollutant category and across most of the county, the air quality has been CONSISTENTLY improving.
http://www.sdapcd.org/info/reports/5-year-summary.pdf

Too bad the press doesn't spend 5 minutes seeking corroborating data, but rather accepts environmental groups' conclusions without question.

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