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New San Diego Water Report Focuses On Efficiency, Conservation

Ann Tartre, the executive director of the Equinox Center, talks to KPBS about ways to conserve water.

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Equinox Center Water Report

Equinox Center Water Report

Equinox Center H2Overview Project, October 2012

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A new report from the Equinox Center points to water use as the most critical resource challenge San Diego faces.

But unlike many other big-picture analyses, this report focuses on what each resident of San Diego can do to conserve and use our precious water supply more efficiently. Data used in the report finds that over the next 20 years, the region could be using 20 to 30 percent less water than managers predict.

Ann Tartre, the executive director of the independent, non-partisan, non-profit Equinox Center, told KPBS that 28 percent of water usage in the home comes from toilet flushing, while 20 percent comes from the clothes washer and 17 percent from the shower. She said only 3 to 4 percent of the population has installed the most efficient washing machines and toilets.

"So it looks like there's still more room to conserve and be more efficient in our homes," she said.

The study also found the average family uses 50 more gallons of water a day than they need to for outside watering, Tartre said. If a family stopped watering their landscape, they would save 17,000 gallons of water a year.

Other possible measures include determining how much water a yard really needs, watering at night, or watering less frequently, she said.

Claire Trageser contributed to this report.


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