San Diego water policy task force highlights
Posted by George J Janczyn on September 25, 2012
Highlights from the City of San Diego Water Policy Implementation Task Force meeting on Monday September 24, 2012 from 2:00-5:00pm:
The resignation of Dr. Tim Barnett from the task force for medical reasons was announced. Any decision to appoint a replacement for his position will be made by the City Council.
Having spent most of the summer getting organized, listening to informational presentations, reading background documents, and other activities, group members are feeling under some pressure to begin issuing some recommendations, so most of the available meeting time was spent discussing the draft recommendations of the Water Conservation Working Group and trying to vote on as much as possible. Many details in the draft document were debated, wordsmithed, shortened, and simplified to some extent. Ultimately, the task force voted to make the following recommendations:
- Make provisions of the Level 1 Drought Alert a permanent water conservation standard
- Ask staff to study and report to the Task Force regarding modifications to the water conservation code requirements for new landscape construction, and explore ways it may apply to existing development
- Request that an evaluation of an allocation-based billing structure for landscape meters be included in either the city’s Cost of Service Study or the Water Budget-Based Billing Study
- Study how unmetered water loss can be reduced
- Ongoing and permanent outreach and education to promote a conservation ethic as a lifestyle
- Study possible requirement of landscape irrigation fixture retrofits when property is sold
Note that the above is my informal summary of the items voted on; the exact language will be available when the recommendations are formally presented to the Natural Resources & Culture Committee at the October 10 meeting.
Lastly, Bill Harris from the Transportation and Stormwater Dept. gave a brief presentation about his department’s activities. He predicted that water quality issues will lead to further study of stormwater capture and integration with water recycling/reuse systems in the future. He also predicted huge expenses due to regulatory issues such as the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board Resolution (R9-2010-001) called the Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load “TMDL”, or Bacteria TMDL Resolution (see tomorrow’s County Board of Supervisors agenda item #4 for more details). Mr. Harris said this is just the first of many additional California Title 22 rules or the Clean Water Act’s total maximum daily load (TMDL) requirements that eventually will require expenditures reaching “into the Capital Bs.”
The next Water Policy Implementation Task Force meeting will be 2-5pm October 30 at the Metropolitan Operations Center II Auditorium.