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San Diego Water Managers Call For Conservation

Aired 4/30/14 on KPBS News.

San Diego water managers reach out for help in reducing water use in the county.

San Diego County Water Authority officials are reaching out to local residents and businesses in an effort to cut back on water use this summer.

California is experiencing a third year of drought conditions and the authority is launching a voluntary conservation campaign. The idea to is to boost water saving efforts before the lingering drought conditions force mandatory cutbacks.

Water Authority spokesman Jason Foster said a recent water use survey uncovered good news about water customers.

"Nearly 70 percent of the region was aware of the drought and what was even more encouraging was 70 percent of our region's residents had already started to take some sort of action to save more water because of the drought," Foster said.

Other findings include:

  • 53 percent of residents said they can do more to conserve water at home, 25 percent disagreed.
  • 84 percent of residents said a reliable water supply in important for the region's economy.
  • 56 percent said water is a good value, but 53 percent think the cost of water is too high.

The full survey findings are located here.

Meanwhile, Water Authority officials don't agree with the clean water advocates who are taking the water managers to court.

The San Diego Coastkeeper filed legal action late last week, alleging a recent Water Authority master plan update fails to deal with the impact the agency's projects have on climate change.

Authority spokesman Ken Weinberg defended the plan.

"We also have a history of basing our planning on aggressive conservation. We always have and always will," Weinberg said.

Coastkeeper officials are pushing the authority for even more water recycling and conservation.

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