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San Diego City to Debate Water Restrictions

San Diego city council meets this afternoon to approve a new set of mandatory water conservation measures. The sliding scale of restrictions is likely to go into effect next year. KPBS reporter Alison

San Diego City to Debate Water Restrictions

San Diego city council meets this afternoon to approve a new set of mandatory water conservation measures. The sliding scale of restrictions is ikely to go into  effect next year. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

90 % of San Diego city’s water comes from elsewhere. Dry weather and new legal restrictions on water pumping mean the region is vulnerable to severe water shortages next year.

Alex Ruiz of San Diego city’s water department says the rules the council will discuss today do not affect businesses’ water use, but will affect homeowners, parks and public landscaping.

Ruiz : It’s focused on outdoor irrigation for landscape purposes, which is thought of as discretionary.

San Diego County Water Authority has already called for residents to save 20 gallons a day … that’s about a 10% reduction. Data shows San Diego city residents have responded, but their efforts have only saved about 6 %... not enough to meet the goal.

As water shortages get more severe, the goals would get steeper:  For example, under the Level 2 scenario, (a 20% cut),  the city proposes to limit watering lawns to 10 minutes a day. At Level 3, no new potable water service would be provided unless a building permit had already been issued. 

The council wont discuss how to enforce water rationing or what penalties to impose till a future date.

Alison St John, KPBS news