Monday, May 11, 2009 | Back in 2006, Tim Barnett sketched a grim future when asked about the impact climate change would have on San Diego’s water supply.
The warming climate, Barnett said then, would bring water cops, limits on lawn watering and trouble for salmon in the Sacramento River, one of San Diego’s major water sources.
“I believe the environment will eat it first,” said Barnett, a marine physicist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “Do you want to go thirsty or kill off the last salmon in the Sacramento River?”
Three years later, San Diego has adopted specific lawn-watering days, which start June 1. The city will spend $756,000 to hire 10 water cops. The salmon population on the Sacramento River plummeted to historic lows last year, prompting an unprecedented closure of commercial salmon fishing from the U.S.-Mexico border to Oregon.