Water Conservation in San Diego

Southern California braces for another September heat wave as the area deals with its third consecutive drought, while the city of San Diego faces a water supply shortage as residents water gardens and lawns, and drive waterless for short distances.

While the region continues to be the nation’s most vulnerable to severe water shortages, water-related events and climate change are not the sole reasons behind the drought.

In fact, while the area deals with drought-forced water restrictions on its farmland and water-intensive cities, the area had little to no water restrictions on the agricultural and residential water use.

With less water, and also with less water usage, people have less to drink or use to drive to work, to the store, to the pool, to the golf course, to the water park and even the beach. And San Diego, which has long been held up as an example of what water conservation should look like, seems to have the highest number of residential water-efficient homes in the Bay Area, according to an Associated Press report. In fact, only a little over half of the area’s homes meet federal standards for water efficiency.

“If your goal is to reduce water use, you’d think your idea for a home or business would make it to the top,” said Jim Dunlap, the regional director for the San Diego region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “We’re disappointed that is not the case.”

A recent EPA survey showed that while there are significant water conservation efforts underway in the San Diego area, such as voluntary water-wise programs and water-efficient appliances, the city of San Diego only recently adopted a water-efficient code. To add to the problem of lack of water use and conservation, the recent drought has caused a water shortage issue in some residents, especially those in the area around the cities Oceanside and Vista.

“My biggest concern is water conservation,” said San Diego resident Jim Lafferty. “I feel like the government is neglecting its citizens. I don’t know where I go to get my water. I look into different neighborhoods, and nothing is available.”


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