Mayor calls for San Diego to 'lead by example' in cutting water use

San Diego mayor orders review of ways to reduce water use in city parks

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Wednesday ordered a series of water-saving measures to help the city comply with Gov. Jerry Brown's statewide order to reduce water usage by 25%.

Faulconer ordered the city Parks and Recreation Department to identify ways to reduce watering at city parks, particularly smaller parks and golf courses. Specific plans for cutbacks will be announced in coming weeks.

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Irrigation at parks is the city's largest use of water, Faulconer said at a City Hall news conference.

Faulconer ordered the resumption of a turf-replacement program in which residents can receive rebates for replacing thirsty lawns with more drought resistant landscaping.

Council President Sherri Lightner and Councilwoman Lorie Zaph joined Faulconer's call for San Diego to "lead by example ... because wasting water is never an option."

Potable water will not be used to irrigate landscaping on street medians, Faulconer said. 

The Public Utilities Department was directed to begin issuing warnings and then fines for water waste. To report water waste, residents are encouraged to go to the app store on their iPhone or Android device and search for "Waste No Water" to download the app.

Since Nov. 1, San Diego, like many cities, has asked residents to comply with numerous measures, including watering lawns only during three assigned days and not using irrigation during rainy days.

Restaurants were instructed only to serve water when patrons ask for it.

"Every drop of drinking water that is used to water lawns, wash cars or fill swimming pools means that thousands of gallons will no longer be available to drink, fight fires or grow food," Zaph said.

Twitter: @LATsandiego

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