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City of San Diego tells us to conservere water, then they waste it

posted by Russ, September 5 in sustainability with tags , , ,

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I’m not sure how to feel about this whole water conservation effort here in San Diego. I’ve seen quite a few glaring contradictions lately that would seem to indicate to me that although they are telling us how to use our water, they aren’t doing the same at the public level. Of course San Diego is a big city, and I can’t expect them to know how every public water user is managing their water, but I would hope they would make their best effort to do so, being that they are running ads with the slogan “Waste no Water”.

A few weeks ago, the ball park at the Rec Center near my house was watering at 11:30 AM, which is prohibited under the new water usage restrictions which prohibit outdoor watering between 10AM and 6PM. Maybe it’s just me, but being that the rec centers are run by the city, I would expect them to be following their own rules. So I went ahead and called the hotline that allows you to report those abusing the waternig restrictions. When I told the woman that the rec center was watering, I think I caught a chuckle from her, hopefully she saw the irony.

Then the other morning after a run, I saw different sprinklers at the same rec center that were shooting water all over the sidewalk, which I don’t believe is technically against the new rules, but again, I would expect the city to be practicing what they are preaching to the public. In fact this exact scenario is one of the things they are pushing in their “Waste No Water” campaigns. In fairness, this time the watering was at least happening in the early morning, so maybe they at least adjusted the schedules.

Also, although I don’t believe that the city has any jurisdiction over CalTrans, everyone knows they are a huge water user (4th largest), and it’s been well documented that they excessively water the freeway shoulders, even in the rain. And still after the water cuts, just last month I saw them watering at 9:30 AM. Granted, this is not technically prohibited, but I still take issue with this because especially lately, by 9:30 it’s already over 80 degrees and rising, so I’m pretty sure a lot of this water will get wasted.

So what do I have to say? I say come on San Diego, get it together. Though I did hear that city water usage is down 20% from last year, which is great, I think we can be doing better. Start by watching what’s going on in the city around you. While I do applaud your efforts to educate the people, I think there could be even better results if you focused your efforts on the big users, which are businesses, the city itself, and also the contractors you have working for you. Would it be impossible to work with CalTrans to put in native freeway shoulders instead of iceplant and change the watering schedules? Then another nice step would be to stop planting grass everywhere, since almost everyone knows San Diego is not really tropical, stop pretending it is and start planing native gardens instead of lush grasses at public buildings.

Related posts:

  1. Water Conservation – A letter to the city
  2. San Diego drought tolerant landscaping
  3. Clean water should be taken more seriously


Originally posted on Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 7:10 AM .

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