Sunday, July 19, 2009 | When the first reduction in San Diego’s water supplies in two decades loomed earlier this year, a long list of people weighed in on Mayor Jerry Sanders’ proposal to reduce citywide use.
Lobbyists lobbied. Economists critiqued. Concerned residents questioned.
One group was notably silent: The City Council.
That changed in early April after voiceofsandiego.org revealed misrepresentations that Water Department staff had made about the benefits of Sanders’ proposal, which had based proposed cuts on residents’ historic use. Very quickly, the council got a lot more interested in shaping a policy that had previously been entrusted to the Mayor’s Office and Water Department staff to develop and market.
Then San Diego got a reprieve. The 20 percent supply cut the city had prepared for didn’t manifest. Instead, the region is coping with an 8 percent reduction. But as the potential for cuts looms again next year, City Council President Ben Hueso is now prodding his colleagues to develop their own water-reduction strategy — not rely on the mayor.
In a recent memo, he asked them to submit ideas for promoting water conservation and new supplies and has proposed a series of public meetings about water.