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Governor Asks Californians To Voluntarily Cut Water Use

 July 9, 2021 at 12:25 PM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 California's mega drought pushes water conservation efforts. Speaker 2: 00:04 Here we are again, uh, and we will need to proceed, uh, with the lessons learned from the last drought Speaker 1: 00:10 I'm Jade Hindman. This is KPBS mid-day edition. Financial pressure builds on small rental owners Speaker 3: 00:28 September. We didn't get rent October. We didn't November, December, January, February, or March. So that's $28,000 in just one county. Speaker 1: 00:39 And we'll have a Roundup of this weekend art scene and the weekend preview. Plus a deep dive into this week's headlines on the round table. That's ahead on midday edition. First, the news water conservation is the focus as drought persist and small landlords face economic pressures. I'm Jade Hindman. This is KPBS midday edition. Yeah, it's Friday, July 9th. Today we are dealing with dry heat and flex alerts. While much of the state faces a mega drought. Now, governor Gavin Newsome is calling on all Californians to voluntarily cut back their water use by 15%. Speaker 2: 01:39 The sober reality is such a that here we are again, uh, and we will need to proceed, uh, with the lessons learned from the last drought, uh, but with the benefits of those lessons now, and the resources, uh, that we have not been afforded in the past. So Speaker 1: 01:56 Joining me to talk about what this means for San Diego wins is Sandy curl general manager of the San Diego county water authority. Sandy, welcome. Speaker 4: 02:06 Thank you. Glad to be here. So Speaker 1: 02:08 You say our region is quote drought safe because of taxpayer investments in water supply, and long-term planning. What can conserving water here do to help the rest of the state? Speaker 4: 02:20 Well, you know, here in San Diego county, we use about 50% less water than we did in 1990. So our region has very much taken on the conflict conservation ethic. Um, I think, um, additional savings in water will hopefully, uh, create some, um, additional resources in the state, um, so that hopefully we get to a wetter winter and spring, uh, next year. Mm. And so what are some of the ways we can do that? So I'm with, uh, San Diego county, we've done a lot of conservation. I think now it's really focusing on some of those, um, smaller increments, pain, um, attention to the little things, making sure you're turning the water off when you're brushing your teeth or shaving, you're doing full loads of laundry, uh, full loads of dishes, uh, making sure that there's no leaks in your irrigation. And if there is, could get those resolved very quickly, Speaker 1: 03:20 You know, I mean in specifically, governor Newsome is asking everyone to cut their consumption of water by 15%. Um, what does a 15% reduction look like for the average user? Speaker 4: 03:34 Um, so for the average user, it really means, um, being able to, um, again, focus on those, um, small increments, um, in their residential use, um, to make sure that they're, um, really minimizing the amount of water that they're using. But again, I want to emphasize that this region has really taken on conservation, um, wholeheartedly and much of the conservation is very hardened at this point. Speaker 1: 04:04 Know if all residential users in San Diego county do cut back 15%, what would be the impact of that on conservation here and in the state? Speaker 4: 04:15 So if the users here in San Diego cut back 15%, um, it would mean that we would have additional water, um, available. We have sufficient supplies to serve the region, even in the second, very dry year because of the investments we've made, um, both through the Carlsbad desalination plant, uh, the extraordinary conservation already the, um, uh, agreements with Imperial irrigation district to get conserved water from the Colorado river. Um, so we've really, um, put ourselves in a position that we have sufficient supplies. So any savings that we do, uh, would provide additional water into storage, um, or an opportunity to assist the state and other areas where there are challenges, but our Speaker 1: 05:07 Residential water users, the biggest consumers in the county. And if not, who is, Speaker 4: 05:13 They are, uh, residential uses about 66% of the water use, uh, in the county. And the next most significant, um, at about, um, 16% is the, uh, industrial commercial users. Hmm. Speaker 1: 05:31 And how will the water authority work with other state water agencies to come up with strategies to address the water shortage? And what could that look like? Speaker 4: 05:40 Um, that's a really great question. So I've been in conversations with, uh, the general manager at metropolitan water district two is brand new. Uh, his name is Adele Hodge Kahleel, and we've had conversations. Also had a conversation this morning with the governor's office, um, offering up some solutions to assist, uh, statewide with some of the resources that we have. So I think we're going to be working hand in hand collaboratively because it really is about, um, uh, one state, um, and making sure that the state, every area of the state is taken care of that we have tools and met has tools that can assist. We want to do that. Speaker 1: 06:25 I've been speaking with Sandy curl general manager of the San Diego county water authority. Sandy, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you. 7 million tenants across the country are behind on rent more than a year into the COVID-19 crisis. And many small landlords are struggling to pay their bills as well as cap radios. Chris Nichols reports, the economic pressures are rising on these mom and pop rental owners Speaker 5: 06:55 Before the pandemic, Ravi Kaylon and her husband Raja jaggedy son owned six rental properties, including some duplexes in Sacramento and the bay. Speaker 3: 07:05 So we have a room here that you can look at. Um, and is this one rented out yet, or it is, Speaker 5: 07:10 They say their goal is to provide housing. The community can afford, but after the economy shutdown, four of their nine tenants stopped paying rent September. Speaker 3: 07:21 We didn't get rent October. We didn't November, December, January, February, or March. So that's $28,000 in just one county Speaker 5: 07:31 Without this revenue. The couple says they used personal savings to pay for repairs, property taxes, and their mortgages. But jaggedy sin says that approach just isn't sustainable. Speaker 6: 07:42 We want to provide clean, safe housing for people. I mean, we need to at least make the Speaker 5: 07:48 More than a year into the pandemic. The bills are continuing to pile up for small landlords who own nearly half the rental units in America and often provide housing. That's affordable for middle and lower income renters. But as of this month, landlords still can't ask courts to remove tenants who aren't paying that's because the federal government recently extended its eviction moratorium through the end of July, California continued its eviction ban through the end of September, but many renters can apply for 100% back rent, which will ease the situation somewhat. Speaker 7: 08:25 What do we want, when do we want it Speaker 5: 08:29 At rallies like this one in Sacramento, this spring tenant advocates pushed for the bands to stay in place. They say they're needed because just a fraction of the billions of dollars in state and federal rent relief has gone out to those affected by COVID-19. But economists say the eviction ban puts a huge weight on small landlords, especially those whose rental income has dried up given the red hot real estate. They say some might just sell and get out of the rental business. All Speaker 8: 09:00 Homes are selling very quickly, almost no matter what condition they're in Speaker 5: 09:04 That Zillow, senior economist, Jeff Tucker, Speaker 8: 09:07 And therefore that is a tempting window of opportunity, especially for a small time landlord, uh, to cash out and sell that home Speaker 5: 09:15 Sales are happening, but not to other mom. And pop owners says Russell Lowery, who heads the California rental housing association, which represents landlords. We believe we're shifting the landlord mix from, from smaller corporate. That shift could mean fewer entry level rental options, renter advocates like Shanti Singh of tenants together say they also want to avoid more corporate ownership, which can be less forgiving to renters. We definitely Speaker 9: 09:43 Don't want to. I see a further consolidation of property in the hands of corporate landlords. We have been fighting that back Speaker 5: 09:48 In Sacramento, small landlord, Raja JAG, decent says he and his wife ended up selling half their properties. He says they couldn't make the numbers Speaker 6: 09:58 Work. You know, we're not getting any rent from property X, but we are bleeding money every month. And so then we have to make those hard decisions. Like I think we have to sell. And that happened not once, not twice, but three times. Speaker 5: 10:10 He says one went to a young couple who planned to live at the home, taking it off the rental market. Another went to an investor who jaggedy son says will likely slap some paint on it and then raise the rent in Sacramento. I'm Chris Nichols, Speaker 1: 10:27 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade, Hindman this weekend and the arts, the culmination of a pandemic era program from the city's commission for arts and culture live performances of a haunting dance production and outdoor music, art and food festival and Oceanside San Diego pride kicks off and closing weekend of a very timely virtual play. Joining me with all the details is KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dickson Evans. Julia. Welcome. Speaker 10: 10:57 Hi Jade. Thanks for having me. Speaker 1: 10:59 Yeah. So first big news in the local contemporary art world. Tell us about San Diego practice. Yeah, Speaker 10: 11:06 This is from the city of San Diego's commission for art and culture. It was part of a 1.2, 5 million relief effort for artists. Um, it took place last April and they started buying new art for the civic art collection. It's really nice to finally be able to see these works starting this weekend. There's about a hundred pieces from 89 regional artists and the curators have split them up across two sites, two galleries. So it'll be at bread and salt and Logan Heights and San Diego art Institute and Volvo park. And there's a really cool mixture of big names. We know like men really to brown Jean lo Hugo Crossway, Melissa Walter Bhavna Metta, but also a lot of emerging artists and people that are newer to the scene. It all runs from Saturday through September 5th. And then all these works will go to their various homes, whether permanent or semi-permanent, they're going to be in public institutions or parks or libraries. Speaker 10: 12:11 So this is pretty much our last chance to see them all in one place like this. And the details are Saturday evening, they're doing a two-part reception. So you can start at SCAI from four to 6:00 PM. That's in Balboa park. And then you can head over to bread and salt from six to 8:00 PM. And while you're at bread and salt, there's another exhibition opening on the premises at crystal bar. Grassy is a money laundering pond, which is also a painting, but it is not a painting of a pond which wins the title a word for the week. Uh, he is from Mexico city and he built this installation where he constructs a kind of wishing well out of these glary white rocks and sand all glued together. And then he fills it with hot sauce and that all opens at five o'clock. And also right there at Jason bread and salt is a brand new photography exhibit from photographs, from the sea of Cortez and that's bay and helicopter Scotto. And that's at the Athenaeum art center that also opens at five. So right there, there's basically four art things you can do in one evening Speaker 1: 13:21 That alone would pack the weekend. The SD practice exhibition will open on Saturday at San Diego art Institute at 4:00 PM and then at bread and salt at 6:00 PM. Uh, the Rosenbach stands company has an intriguing live show this weekend. Tell us about the ghost light masquerade. Yeah, Speaker 10: 13:42 The, this contemporary dance company. They really crushed the virtual stuff throughout the pandemic. And they're kind of borrowing from that ingenuity in these live performances that they're going to do this weekend. It's called ghost light masquerade, and it's in the outdoor space at Liberty station. And it's not like you'll be passively sitting down and watching dancers on a stage. They're more like these smaller vignettes that you stumble upon and discover. It's all about the idea of superstitions and hauntings in the theater world. They'll also be doing virtual performances of this later in the month, starting July 23rd. And you can plan ahead if that's what you want to do to get the special goodies sent to you in advance, including a cocktail kit and a personal VR headset, but in the meanwhile it's live this weekend. Speaker 1: 14:34 Okay. And live performances of Ghostlight masquerade take place at Liberty station tonight and Saturday at 8:00 PM. Uh, it's closing weekend for the virtual production of playwright Lauren, Gunderson's new play the catastrophist, uh, tell us about this play and how we can stream Speaker 10: 14:49 It. Yeah. This is a and very timely work by the prolific playwright Lauren Gunderson, who happens to be married to a virologist Nathan Wolf and he tracks viral pandemics. So this is a virtual play about him written during the pandemic about pandemics and about playwriting. So it's all very meta and the character is even aware of the play unfolding. So it's all really amazingly of the moment. Here's a little clip. Speaker 7: 15:21 I should explain that my wife is a writer. She's writing this just maybe every now and then with a good answer, you get to discover something true. There is right now out there building capacity through the natural trial and error of any evolution. Something is evolving right now into something that will be ready for us. Speaker 1: 15:49 You ready for it? And the San Diego rep presents a virtual production of the catastrophist with streaming tickets available to purchase through Sunday pride, mostly takes place next week. But on Saturday you can kick things off with a hybrid version of Xi Fest, which is the annual program, especially for San Diego's LGBTQ plus women. And non-binary folk, how can we join in? Speaker 10: 16:14 Yeah, so it runs virtually first at 11:00 AM with a live stream and on the Xi Fest Facebook page, they're going to have history, Xen making trivia music, and even a segment on how to socialize again, post COVID. And then the in-person stuff kicks off at the pride flag in Hillcrest at one o'clock with a DJ set, and then there's going to be a performance from Evan diamond at two and tons more throughout the afternoon, including drag king shows later on, they'll also be trivia and scavenger hunts. It's a really great way to kick off pride. Speaker 1: 16:49 The Fest takes place in person Saturday from one to 6:00 PM at the pride flag and Hillcrest and virtually from 11 to 2:00 PM and event on Sunday in ocean side, features music, art, taro readings, and craft food and drink. Tell us a little bit about the hill street country clubs. Speaker 10: 17:09 Yeah. So this is a family friendly fundraising event. There'll be outdoor music, picnic blanket style on a golf course setting. There'll be vegan soul food, as well as a take on high tea cuisine. Musical performances include a set from cheerleader vinyl club, the renters T-Rex chicken Irenie and headlining is the sacred souls, but what's really special about this is how essential the Hillstreet country club has been to the art and culture scene across the entire region. But especially in north county, we talked to cultural strategists, Andrea Angie Chandler last week to discuss this. And here's what she said for Speaker 9: 17:50 The last nine years. They've used their gallery space to advocate for social justice and equity long before it was trending. Um, and they really want it to be thoughtful about how they showed up in the fundraising space. They're using the exhibit and the opportunity to hold space for other artists, especially San Diego's owned the sacred souls, which had a major, major splash onto the music scene in 2020 to kind of give all of these artists a larger platform. And then to also raise funds. They're joining up with a collective called club tikka, which is a culinary and craft set of women working together. That Speaker 1: 18:28 Was our strategist, Andrea Chandler, and we're listening to it's. Our love by the sacred souls were performed Sunday at 4:00 PM at high tea or details on these and more arts events or to sign up for Julia's weekly arts newsletter go to I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dickson Evans. Julia. Thanks. Speaker 10: 18:50 Thank you, Jane. Have a great weekend.

Gov. Gavin Newsom called on residents to voluntarily cut back on their water consumption by 15% as California continues to face unseasonably high summer temperatures. Plus, more than a year into the COVID-19 crisis, seven million tenants across the country are behind on rent and many small landlords are struggling to pay their bills as well. And this weekend in the arts: the culmination of a pandemic-era program from the city's Commission for Arts and Culture, live performances of a haunting dance production, an outdoor music, art and food festival in Oceanside and it’s the closing weekend of a very timely virtual play.