I recently came across a news release (New Report Shows San Diego’s Infrastructure Needs Attention) from the San Diego Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) announcing an updated 2012 San Diego County Infrastructure Report Card evaluating a wide variety of regional infrastructure topics including valuable perspective where water matters are concerned.
Although San Diego’s County’s overall grade declined slightly from ASCE’s 2005 report card, the water and wastewater grades have shown some improvement with two Bs and a B+.
The chart on the right compares the grades between the 2005 and 2012 reports:
To produce the report, the ASCE Report Card Team assembled 11 working teams of over 100 expert engineers from the public and private sector to spend a year assessing San Diego’s infrastructure in a variety of categories: aviation, bridges, land and sea ports of entry, levees/flood control/urban drainage, parks/recreation/environment, K-12 school facilities, solid waste, surface transportation, wastewater/collection system, wastewater/treatment, and water.
San Diego’s management of water and wastewater (and associated costs) has been a growing topic of public and political discussion lately, especially as the election season progresses. One mayoral candidate in particular has continuously criticized the Public Utilities Department and reportedly would like to see the entire operation privatized. The County Water Authority’s lawsuit against the Metropolitan Water District on water prices, developments in the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA) lawsuit, and Councilmember Lightner’s recently adopted new water policy for the city are other examples of topics that have been regularly in the news, although often in a sensational way.
Objective, non-political information has been difficult to find. The ASCE Report Card helps put lots of these issues in sober perspective.
Following the break are report summaries for each grade given, followed by excerpts from the more detailed discussion further in the report.