GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

San Diego’s permanent water use restrictions watered down?

Posted by George J Janczyn on September 7, 2010

Councilperson Donna Frye’s proposal to make San Diego’s drought restrictions ordinance permanent is on the Wednesday Sep 8 agenda of the City Council Natural Resources & Culture Committee. The proposed revision was intended to reinforce the idea of water shortages in San Diego being a permanent state of affairs and not a temporary condition due to unusual circumstances.

A draft of the revised ordinance was endorsed by the Independent Rates Oversight Committee (IROC) on July 19.

It appears, however, that the key provision in the draft endorsed by IROC has been removed from the draft being presented to the NR&C Committee. Specifically, the permanent requirement that landscape irrigation be limited to three days per week for limited time periods no longer appears. The only permanent restriction is that watering be done only during certain hours of the day:

  • before 10:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m. during the months of June through October
  • before 10:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. during the months of November through May.

You can see the omission by comparing these two drafts (note item “j” in particular):

Restrictions on days and times appear only as a Drought Level 2 response in the latest draft.

I can’t help thinking this draft must be in error. If permanent water use restrictions are removed, what’s the point of revising the ordinance in the first place?

Other topics to be addressed at the NR&C meeting include: the proposed water rate increase to pass-through the price increase on imported water purchased from SDCWA/MWD (also reviewed recently by IROC); a proposed storm water quality monitoring agreement; an IPR Project update (Water Purification Demonstration Project); and an intriguing item with no explanatory details called “Water Budget Based Billing Pilot Program.”


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