What else can San Diego do to conserve water?
Posted by George J Janczyn on August 13, 2010
We’ve been hearing it for some time now. Recycling is good, but of everything that has been considered for improving San Diego’s water supply situation, conservation is the easiest, quickest, most productive and cost-effective way to do it.
According to a recent Equinox Center report, conservation has been able to replace about 10% of the region’s potential demand. For the last year, San Diego accomplished this through a temporary reduction in allowable landscape watering and a campaign encouraging individuals to reduce indoor water use by taking shorter showers, flushing less often, not running water while brushing teeth, etc.
Assuming those rules will be made permanent and not expire as a one-time symbolic nod at our unsure water supply, in the future, conservation will nonetheless experience diminishing returns after the easiest and least costly options are implemented. We probably could do better if we had more widespread compliance with mandates now in place, but if we’re going to conserve meaningful amounts of water on a permanent basis, we can’t just make half-hearted temporary gestures. What else can we do? If there are any plans to gather a master list of conservation ideas for our community to consider, here’s an early contribution:
- Require all residential swimming pools to be covered within 5 years
- Lawns permitted only in public parks
- Prohibit lawns on any new commercial or residential development effective immediately
- Existing commercial or residential lawns eliminated or replaced with drought-tolerant plants by the year 2020. Possible variant: residential front yard lawns banned (typically for show only) but small back yard lawns permitted (more likely to be used)
Agree? Disagree? What would you put on the list?