Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 | When attention focused last September on his heavy water consumption, City Council President Scott Peters promised he’d use less at home.
But in the four months since, water use at Peters’ La Jolla home increased 6 percent compared to the same timeframe in 2006. Compared to the four months before he made the pledge, it was up 8 percent.
Since last summer, public officials across Southern California have pleaded with the region’s populace to conserve water. This year, the region potentially faces one of its tightest water supplies in recent history. The Colorado River, a major water source, is enduring an almost decade-long drought. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which delivers Sierra Nevada snowmelt to Southern California, faces court-ordered restrictions limiting water exports, a measure taken to protect an endangered fish.
Those calls for conservation — some made by Peters himself — have met with mixed success among the region’s residents and among San Diego’s elected officials. As water managers plot ways to convey the conservation message to county residents this year, water usage statistics for city officials suggest they have lessons to learn, too.
Peters, his wife and two children used as much water in 2007 as the households of Mayor Jerry Sanders, City Councilmen Kevin Faulconer, Brian Maienschein, Jim Madaffer, Ben Hueso and City Attorney Mike Aguirre combined.
The mayor and several other council members reduced their water use after the San Diego County Water Authority launched a campaign calling for increased conservation in July.