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A funny thing happened on the San Diego County Water Authority’s way to finalizing a plan to hike the cost of water that it sells to smaller water districts across the county: the city of San Diego, its largest customer, objected, and a bunch of smaller water agencies all rallied to the behemoth’s side.
The city, with support from smaller agencies like the city of Oceanside, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District and the Helix Water District, added requirements that the water authority spell out how much cash it’s raising from ratepayers, and conduct third-party audits of the math it uses in support of any increase.
What do all those districts have in common? They’re all building their own projects that recycle used water, clean it, and return it to the water system for re-use.
As you might imagine, individual districts re-using water they’ve purchased from the water authority then need to purchase less water from the water authority. One district that opposed the city of San Diego’s move? Poway, which gets 98 percent of its water from the Colorado River, after buying it from the water authority.
Click here to read the rest of the developing divide in this week’s Environment Report.
Acknowledging that the War on Drugs was misguided and disproportionately impacted communities of color was among the most significant arguments marshalled in support of cannabis legalization during the 2016 election.
Yet two years later, when cities and counties across the state began implementing voters’ will and began setting up legal sales, distribution, manufacturing and cultivation of cannabis, many of the communities who were criminalized by the War on Drugs weren’t included.
San Diego, like many places, is now playing catch up, as the county and cities here debate what a social equity program for the industry could look like.
As part of that discussion, we’re hosting a virtual panel discussion TONIGHT, at 5:30 p.m. It’ll be hosted by local cannabis journalist Jackie Bryant, and panelists include Anthony and Loriel Alegrete, founders of an advocacy group for people incarcerated for cannabis; County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Andrea St. Julian, a criminal justice advocate; and Violeta Wyrick, an executive with Catalyst Cannabis Co.
In case you missed it: Last week Bryant wrote a story about the nascent local efforts to bring equity to the cannabis industry. Click here to read that story.
South Bay’s Latino community suffered alarming rates of coronavirus infections. But efforts to reach Latino communities through promotoras, advertising and pop-up clinics have been successful, and now Latinos in the county are over-represented among fully vaccinated people compared to most racial or ethnic groups, the U-T reports.
Speaking of vaccination rates: We received a reader question asking why San Diego County’s vaccine rates were so low, especially among the elderly.
Why is the COVID-19 vaccination rate in San Diego County so much lower than the average for California? The differential is particularly stark for the elderly. The county votes liberal! What in the bejeezus is going on?
The thing is that San Diego County actually has a higher vaccination rate overall than the state. According to the most recent data published by both, 70 percent of eligible people statewide are fully vaccinated while roughly 78 percent of eligible people countywide are fully vaccinated.
When it comes to older residents, San Diego is still leading the state, though the county’s dashboard can be a bit confusing on this point. The dashboard shows what percentage each age group makes up of the total vaccinated population. That shows that 27.7 percent of the vaccinated population are people 60 and older. But that’s a different number than looking at the percentage of elderly residents who are vaccinated.
The county has other data available that breaks down what percentage of the 65 and older population has been fully and partially vaccinated. As of Sept. 22, nearly 89 percent of San Diego residents 65 and older have been vaccinated. Statewide, about 73 percent of that age group is fully vaccinated.
Here’s a hot data tip: Every Wednesday the county updates a series of more detailed reports on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths and vaccination rates that breakdown that information by ZIP code, race and ethnicity, age and more. You can find that here.
Get ready for a new Voice of San Diego podcast premiering next month! The San Diego 101 podcast, hosted by Adriana Heldiz and Maya Srikrishnan, will break down some of the region’s biggest issues and the agencies, people and systems that shape San Diego County.
In the meantime, you can check out our San Diego 101 video series.
Correction: The percentages of people vaccinated originally reported in this post should have clarified they are percentages of “eligible” people. Kids under 12 are not yet eligible.
This Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Megan Wood.