Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Drought, other factors push county to shortage -- San Diego

San Diego Union Tribune: There is no silver bullet to forestall cutbacks to San Diego County's allotment of drinking water, a panel of experts on water, global warming, agriculture and the environment said yesterday. An ongoing drought, climate change and shrinking supplies from the Colorado River and the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta have put the region on the edge of a severe water shortage. The speakers predicted many challenges. Among them:

  • Residential customers may be forced to significantly reduce water usage for landscaping.
  • Some local growers' businesses could fold if water cutbacks hurt their bottom line.
  • Even if desalination – converting seawater into drinking water – is adopted along the county's coastline, the product will likely be expensive and unable to meet demand.
  • It's almost certain the cost of water will continue to rise, the experts said…

If current trends continue, Southern California's primary water purveyor could reduce the county's allotment by up to 50 percent, said Pete Silva, a senior policy adviser with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. After suffering a 31 percent cutback and being threatened with 50 percent cut from Metropolitan during the drought of 1987-92, the San Diego County Water Authority increased its storage capacity and cultivated other sources of water.

…Agriculture would be the first to feel the effects. In exchange for paying discounted water rates, growers have agreed to absorb the brunt of the initial cutbacks. They were recently told to expect a 30 percent reduction in their water allotment starting in January. Growers have taken numerous conservation measures, said Eric Larson, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau.

Reduced water would mean less agricultural production for them. In turn, they will be tempted to sell their land to developers, Larson said.

…Water guzzlers will have to pay for their wasteful ways, said Spreck Rosekrans, an economic analyst with the national group Environmental Defense. “Behavior is going to change based on the price of water,” he said.

1 comment:

Servant Joe said...

With all due respect, to assume that man has the power to effect climate change to the earth is presumptuous at the lest, and ignorant at best.

What of the massive amounts of gases emitted (daily) by the earth's volcano's, which is staggering by comparison to what man does or can do.

The Rev.