San Diego is setting the bar for water and energy efficiency in South California. San Diego County collectively uses 40 percent less potable water per capita today than it did in 1990. Average residential water use in San Diego County was 235 gallons per person per day in 1990, compared to 143 gallons last year.
The conservation gains are mostly thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown’s statewide mandate of reducing urban water use by 25% compared to 2013 levels. The state’s 411 water districts were given individual targets of between 4 percent and 36 percent, and the threat of facing fines if they did not meet their targets.
On July 26, the San Diego Water Authority launched a new outreach campaign—Live WaterSmart—to cement the conservation gains after Gov. Jerry Brown lifted state mandates on water usage for California’s water districts. The new standards from the State Water Resources Control Board say that local water districts can avoid state mandates—and the fines that come with them—if they show that they have enough water to weather at least three years of consecutive drought.
You’ll soon start to see Live WaterSmart messages on streets, restaurant table-tops, social media and billboards. The San Diego Water Authority is also working with the conservation group Surfrider Foundation to launch a new incentive program for sustainable landscapes. Other conservation groups like San Diego Coastkeeper are urging residents not to return to their old ways just because state mandates have been lifted.
The state has so far saved more than 524 billion gallons of water since Gov. Jerry Brown started the emergency water conservation program started in June last year, enough to supply 20 percent of all urban water users for a year.
San Diego is making grand strides in water conservation, but it’s also far ahead of the curve when it comes to renewable energy. The city’s Climate Action Plan calls for San Diego to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2035, a goal which exceeds the state mandate of 50% green energy by 2030. In San Diego County, more than a dozen cities have adopted climate action plans to speed the transition to green, renewable sources of energy.
A key selling point of the plan is the promise of more jobs resulting from investment in clean energy projects. San Diego already ranks 2nd in the nation for electrical output generated by solar energy, getting about 40% of its energy from clean sources. Other aspects of the plan are more straightforward, like increasing the city’s tree canopy cover to 35%, creating more shade and cooling the city naturally.
Cities like San Diego are moving forward with water conservation strategies and clean energy programs even as the federal government continues to debate national goals with other major polluting countries like China at international climate change conferences that never seem to accomplish anything.
If you’re in the market for a luxury home in an exclusive San Diego neighborhood, contact one of our real estate agents today. We specialize in exclusive properties throughout Southern California.
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(all data current as of 5/27/2017)
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