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Newsom unveils drought preparedness plan

 August 12, 2022 at 12:06 PM PDT

S1: The big changes to how we manage water.

S2: Conservation alone cannot help the state be in a sustainable , reliable water supply situation.

S1: I'm Jade Hindman. This is KPBS Midday Edition. The use of dogs in medical research is under fire.

S3: They will cause the least amount of problems for the people doing the testing.

S1: And we'll tell you about a few art installations rich with culture in your weekend preview. That's ahead on Midday Edition. In the face of historic drought and worsening climate change , Governor Gavin Newsom has unveiled a new plan for the future of California's water supply. In addition to critical conservation efforts , the announcement also lays out a plan for future water recycling and desalination projects. The impact for the relatively well-positioned San Diego region , however , remains to be seen. Joining me to talk about what this means for San Diegans is Sandra Kearl , general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority. Sandra , welcome back to Midday Edition.

S2: Thank you so much.


S2: I think that his portfolio approach is really the right approach , which looks to investments in infrastructure to be able to weather through this ongoing dry hydrology conservation loan cannot help the state be in a sustainable , reliable water supply situation in San Diego County. Over the last 30 years , we've invested heavily in conservation , in new water supplies and infrastructure. And so we're in very good shape. We support the governor's efforts statewide to encourage others to do similarly as the San Diego region has done. So we're very pleased. But in terms of immediate adjustments , we're just asking everyone to conserve a little bit more if you care and do your part. But we're in very good shape here in San Diego.

S1: You know , we're talking about some pretty large scale measures here.

S2: So there's little things that are things like not having the faucet on while you're brushing your teeth. When you're having outdoor irrigation , make sure that you have your irrigation finely tuned too and not watering more than you need to water. Those are things that can make make a difference.


S2: One is they galvanize everybody around conservation as an ethic and a way of life , which is very important. Living in California , we are an arid state and will continue to be getting drier and hotter. And so we need to have that mindset. Secondly , every drop counts and it's important to save where we can so it's available for the future.

S1: It's one thing for households to conserve.

S2: And it'll be 20 years old next year where we funded on farm conservation practices and the water conserved was transferred to San Diego under long term agreements. We also lined earthen canals and the water saved from that is provided to San Diego County under long term agreements. So AG has the opportunity in working with the state and the federal government with funding to do more of these types of conservation projects , to be able to provide water and use it more efficiently in other parts of the state.


S2: And the next increment of water is coming through projects called potable reuse projects , or most often referred to as pure water. And those projects are going to be in the next increment of water in San Diego County. We have the largest project with the city of San Diego. We have the first online purified water project in Oceanside that went online in the spring of this year. We also have the East County Water Purification Project that has just begun construction. So again , we'll have about 100,000 acre feet of water over the next 15 years from these recycling projects. And that will help us to sustain the region's need for water in the future.

S1: You mentioned earlier that San Diego is in relatively good shape in terms of water conservation.

S2: And our first focus was on water use efficiency. And this region worked together with our legislative delegation specifically. Lucy Collier to implement legislation that called for low flow toilets , different changes in plumbing codes , use of low water usage , dishwashers and washing machines and those sorts of things. And also providing incentives for people to conserve , also helping them to change out their landscaping , both teaching them how you can have a beautiful yard with native plants that use very little water. And also training people within the business. Landscapers , how to transition to these types of plants so that we can have beautiful landscapes , beautiful areas , but also use less water.

S1: And there's been growing concern over the current state of Lake Mead , which some fear could soon reach Deadpool status.

S2: We have some tools in the toolbox to help with the elevation , and we think that a healthy Colorado River is critical and the what needs to be done. As I mentioned earlier , the quantification settlement agreement or say the large AG Urban Water Conservation Project are is a model for what can be done in other parts of the country that are using the Colorado River.

S1: I've been speaking with Sandra Kearl , general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority. Sandra , thank you so much for talking with us today.

S2: Thank you. Dogs.

S1: Dogs. They're considered man's and woman's best friend , and the beagle breed is especially sweet spirited. However , as KPBS Maya TRABOULSI reports , it's a trait that's made them more likely to be used in medical research.

S3: Hey , guys.

S4: A greeting among two dogs. They're eager tails wag back and forth like a metronome , keeping time. The unquestionable sign of happiness. But this isn't the first time these two beagles have met.

S1: This is.

S4: In fact , it's a reunion.

S2: We don't know what was done with them. We don't know what was given to them. Like , we don't know anything about what happened before the day we met them.

S4: They were rescued in 2020 after spending seven years being tested on in a San Diego research lab. Once known only by a series of numbers , their new families named them Moritz and Theo. Mike and Sarah Kliff saying Say that beagles for giving spirit is also their curse.

S3: They generally like to be handled , so that's kind of weaponized against them because they will cause the least amount of problems for the people doing the testing. He's got his his lab number tattooed on the inside of his ear.

S4: While most people are not surprised that animals are used in research , what most don't know is that nationwide , nearly 60,000 beagles per year are bred and used specifically for that purpose. Recently , advocates and others have shine the spotlight on San Diego based pharmaceutical company Kinetics. The company contracts with innovative , a lab in Indiana that is performing toxicology studies on 80 beagles.

S2: The docile nature of beagles as what makes them the victim here.

S4: Kathleen Conley is a former animal researcher who now works with the National Humane Society. She says the organization conducted a seven month investigation at innovative and produced undercover video. She talks about a particularly wrenching part of the video involving a dog named Riley.

S2: Veterinarian was called to come in and because of how bad a condition he was in and the veterinarian wasn't able to make it because of personal reasons. So the animal suffered overnight on the floor just moaning and groaning. And , you know , I've worked on this issue for a really long time. I've seen a lot of disturbing videos. But that just just hearing that animal growling like that , I've never heard anything so awful.

S4: Emotive released a statement saying it complies with all regulations. And it's Indiana and Maryland facilities are accredited by the Association for the Accreditation and Assessment of Laboratory Animal Care , known as ALAC. Nonetheless , protesters backed with a petition of more than 250,000 signatures are calling for the beagles to be released for adoption.

S3: Cause they're not letting us in.

S4: But the voices of protesters have been heard in the halls of Congress. In May , a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from 32 states signed a letter to Connecticut's and innovative asking for the puppies to be released instead of euthanized. Officials at Connecticut would not agree to an interview saying a number of their employees have received personal threats. In a statement , the company said it's conducting clinical trials on potentially life saving treatments for babies and young children and has no choice but to use autopsy tissue samples from animal trials. And it says until the FDA changes its requirements , there are no alternatives. The FDA would not comment specifically about the Connecticut study , but said euthanasia is not required after study completion unless it's necessary to examine tissue. While the attention Connecticut's and initiative are getting is unusual , animal testing labs are not. A U.S. Department of Agriculture website has a search tool that provides details on studies. It shows which species are used by each lab and how many of the animals were in studies involving pain , distress or pain relieving drugs. KPBS observed the exterior of three of these local labs that reported using dogs. The buildings are mostly obscure. At one of the sites , a lab technician taking his morning break was willing to talk to us about the testing that he has done.

S3: You know , pigs and dogs and all kinds of species.

S4: Brian Martin has been working at this lab for five years and says the animals here are well cared for. He goes on to say , from what he has seen , that isn't true for all labs.

S3: If I'm doing it , I know what I'm doing. The animal's going to be okay. If somebody else is doing it. They might not have as much care for the animals as as as we do.

S4: I ask him what it's like to test on companion animals like dogs.

S3: It's tough. It's tough. But like we don't euthanize the dogs when we're done with them. We wash them out and then we re-use them.

S4: What does that mean ? Wash them out and reuse them.

S3: So we'll give them a we'll give them a drug and then we will , you know , take like blood. Time points , let's say , for like a first three or four days. Then we'll we'll just let them sit for like two weeks back in their pen and they will reason again and study some of the dogs we've had him he's had for like. Seven or eight years.

S4: And after the dogs have spent half their lifespan in the labs , he says they are adopted out to homes , sometimes by their own clients. Meanwhile , as the fate of the beagles in Indiana hangs in the balance , 4000 beagles are in the process of being rehomed after a facility in Virginia owned by an inactive subsidiary agreed as part of a settlement to relinquish them after allegations of multiple welfare violations. Some of those dogs have been brought to San Diego for adoption. In part two of this story , we'll look into the current state of science and the regulation when it comes to animal testing and how that research translates to humans. Maya TRABOULSI , KPBS News.

S3: Good , sweet girl.

S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. In our weekend preview , some visual arts , a family friendly movie screening and the barrio art crawl. Joining me with all the details is Angie Chandler , creator of Culture Mapping San Diego and a cultural arts strategist and arts ambassador based in Southern California. Angie , welcome back. Thanks so much.

S2: For having me. Great to be back.

S1: So tomorrow is the second Saturday of the month , which means the Barrio Art Crawl is happening in Barrio Logan. Angie , tell us about what we can expect to see and do at this event. Yeah.

S2: Yeah. So the vibrancy of Logan ad is pretty unmatched , and the art crawl is a great chance to walk the whole strip and enjoy some gems. I'm looking forward to the Logan AV Galleria because. Ice cream and art. Yes , please. And Luna Bookshop , which will be right at the end of the strip , is going to have all of the art book needs. And then if you're looking for some artisan made apparel , I love so local and open gem , which is home of futurist color , which is apparel with a purpose.

S1: All right. And the Barrio Art Crawl is free and open to the public from noon to 8 p.m.. The event is a free , self-guided tour consisting of murals , open studios , galleries and local businesses throughout the Barrio Logan Cultural District. So fun there. The main game museum in Balboa Park has a mean gay after dark event tomorrow night , Saturday , in its outdoor courtyard. It's a screening of the movie Coco. So tell us about that.

S2: It's been a year since the manga reopened with a beautiful remodel. A centerpiece of the reopening has been building space for community to enjoy their gorgeous architecture and their selection via adult and family programming. So this After Dark series , which is featuring Coco , one of my favorite films , is going to make great use of the patio with beautiful Balboa Park as a backdrop. Keep an eye out because they're rolling out lots of adult and family programming like this. But I think watching Coco with some popcorn and snacks outside , it's going to be amazing.

S1: And again , the minute after dark screening of the movie Coco is Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m. in the courtyard of the Ming Gay Museum in Balboa Park. Tickets are $5 for members , $8 for non-members. Next , we have Entanglement , a courtyard yarn art experience , which is currently on display in the Mixed Ground's Coffee Gallery. What can you tell us about this show ? And the art is king ? Absolutely.

S2: I think a theme that we're exploring is people using their space for a lot of things. And San Diego , which is a common theme. So Wild Mix Ground is a coffee shop. They've got a gallery on the side. And this artist , King , is a local queer artist , local to San Diego native. And they're using yarn to tell these portrait stories that dig deeper into black culture , black history. So you're going to see everything from sneakers to portraits of Nipsey Hussle and other folks , but they're literally just gone and nails. But these vibrant colors come to life , and these pieces will be up in the coffee shop gallery all month.

S1: And Entanglement , a cultural yarn art experience is on display now through September 8th at the Mixed Ground's Coffee Gallery. The exhibit is free and open to the public gallery. Hours are Monday through Friday , from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. The address there 2920 Imperial Avenue in San Diego. And here's something that's closing soon. The Echoes of Africa exhibition is on display at the San Diego Central Library for another week.

S2: But they've done something really special with this show in that these contemporary artists made work just for this show to go along with the college's world cultures art collection. And so to see these , I mean , decades and generations and centuries of work and conversation with each other is just a story and a tribute to the legacy of the African art and its traditions here in San Diego , as well as what the library is doing in terms of giving the space over to that many different communities we see here in San Diego. So it's a beautiful show. It's happening on the first floor and then the main part of the show will be upstairs in the gallery with those amazing views.

S1: Definitely sounds like a must see. Echoes from Africa will be on display at the downtown San Diego Library Gallery through August 20th. It's free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday and Tuesday from 1 to 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.. You can find details on these and more arts events or sign up for our weekly arts newsletter at KPBS Mortgage Arts. I've been speaking with Angie Chandler , creator of Culture Mapping San Diego and a cultural arts strategist and arts ambassador. Based in Southern California. Angie , thank you so much for joining us.

S2: It's been a pleasure. Thank you for having me.

S1: Have a great weekend.

In the face of historic drought and worsening climate change, Governor Gavin Newsom has unveiled a new plan for the future of California’s water supply. Then, dogs are considered man’s, and woman’s, best friend - especially the sweet-spirited Beagle. However, KPBS’s reports it’s a trait that has made them more likely to be used in medical research. Finally, in our weekend preview, we take a look at some visual arts, a family-friendly movie screening and the Barrio Art Crawl.