You’ve probably heard winter rain in California nearly wiped out the statewide drought, and San Diego has sloshed around in the free water just like every other city. But you wouldn’t know it if you look at our local reservoirs; there sits San Vincente at 77 percent capacity, and over yonder, the dehydrated Lake Morena, which is testing how far you can stretch the definition of “lake” by sitting at 91 percent empty. A full 41 percent of storage space at San Diego’s reservoirs is unused, Ry Rivard reports, while reservoirs throughout other parts of California boast fill rates of 80 percent and beyond.
Rainwater collected in reservoirs is cheap and will evaporate, so water officials try to use it as soon as they get it.
Reservoirs act as an emergency water source in the event of a disaster, so the city keeps enough water on hand meet that requirement. But otherwise, the city is eager to get that cheap water and deliver it to ratepayers. “There’s no precise figure yet for how much money ratepayers will save because of this year’s rains, but the city is expected to release a figure at the end of the budget year,” Rivard writes.
• The San Diego County Water Authority announced Thursday it will seek a 3.7 percent increase in water rates, mostly due to increased costs of water delivered from our regional water wholesaler, the Metropolitan Water District. (KPBS) The Water Authority is the wholesaler to many city and farming districts so an increase in its rates will trickle down to consumers in some form.
• Los Angeles has received so much rain it will have to push back the opening of a new Rams/Chargers stadium by a year. The Chargers will end up playing in the StubHub Center soccer stadium for three years. (LA Times)
Persistent Pension Problems: San Diego Explained
Every now and then we have to check in on how pension costs are doing in San Diego, and it’s almost always bad news. As pensioners live longer, pension costs continue to rise and without additional funding sources to compensate. That ever-widening gap has to be filled every year, often by taxpayers. Ashly McGlone and NBC 7’s Monica Dean provide a visual breakdown of current pension numbers and what the future looks like for unfunded pension liabilities in our most recent San Diego Explained.