Of Course San Diego Water Use Is Up – Local Water Authority Leaders Told Us We Had Enough Water till 2045 – They Should Resign

by on September 24, 2021 · 10 comments

in Environment, San Diego

The big news is that despite Gov. Newsom’s appeal for Californians to cut water use, water use in San Diego County actually went up.

According to new data, water use rose 1.3 percent in San Diego.

In contrast it dropped overall across Southern California – but only by 0.1 per cent – and also rose in LA by 0.7 per cent. In greater contrast water suppliers in the North Coast region reported a 16.7 percent decrease in water usage, while San Francisco Bay Area water use dropped 8.4 percent. On average, Californians reduced water use by just 1.8 percent statewide during July as compared to the same month last year.

Yet is it any surprise that San Diegans haven’t adhered to Newsom’s appeal? We were told by our local water authority back in June ‘Not to worry, we have enough water through 2045.’

From the Water News Network, a publication of the San Diego County Water Authority, on June 21:

“The San Diego County Water Authority announced June 21 that the region is protected from drought impacts this summer, and through 2045, despite continued hot and dry conditions.”

And we were told by our water authority:

“No shortages or regional water-use mandates are in the forecast …”,

Why would they say that? A clue is in the rest of the statement. This is all due as “the result of three decades of strategic investments that create an aquatic safety net for San Diego County’s $253 billion economy and quality of life for 3.3 million residents.”

Ah, because of their expert management, in June we had nothing to worry about. Newsom made his appeal – but on Tuesday, the U-T headline was “Local Water Up Despite Appeal” and today, the U-T editorial board screamed: “Water Conservation Needed, Even Here”

Even the U-T editors thought something was fishy.

San Diego County Water Authority Board Chair Gary Croucher issued a statement this week saying the region has reduced water use by nearly 50 percent in the last three decades, calling it an “extraordinary job.” He said residents should “all be proud” of that long-term track record of water conservation, but added, “We need to do more to help eliminate water waste during this epic drought.”

It’s a different tack for an agency that because of its great work managing and diversifying water sources has said it has enough supplies to meet the region’s needs through 2045 even through multiple dry years. The day Newsom called for a statewide curtailment on water usage, Sandra Kerl, the general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, began a statement on his proclamation by saying, “the San Diego region is thankfully drought-safe this summer due to sound planning and decades-long ratepayer investments in new water supplies and storage and adoption of water conservation.”

The U-T board commented, “Not exactly a call to arms.”

Sandra Kerl

We’d say that the water authority people have been so busy patting themselves on the back, that they’ve mismanaged our county response to the drought.

When Newsom asked California residents to reduce water usage by 15%, Sandra Kerl was going around saying Newsom’s request didn’t apply to San Diego County. Incredible.

It was all about putting San Diego’s best foot forward (especially during tourist season). “America’s Finest City” was doing everything right. Nothing to worry about. Those folks escaping the heat from the other states needn’t be concerned about San Diego’s water abundance.

Kerl and Board Chair Gary Croucher were instead telling us what an “extraordinary job” we’ve all done. Local residents should “all be proud.” Kerl explained that due to a “portfolio” of different water supplies and long-term conservation efforts, – her management, we have enough water supply for now, despite the state’s drought.


Kerl and Croucher appear to be over their collective noggins here. Sure, they said the correct words, we all need to conserve, but when the governor came a knocking with a wake up call, they told us, ‘spit on it!’ Don’t you worry, your pretty little head, San Diego.

Okay, time to hold government feet to the fire. It’s time for Croucher and Kerl to empty their desks and clear out. They both need to resign.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Mat Wahlstrom September 24, 2021 at 2:30 pm

I think the problem is more deep-seated than just these two. Look at the backgrounds of everyone on the board of directors, https://www.sdcwa.org/about-us/board-of-directors/

It reads like a “who’s who” of Chamber of Commerce cronies, building trades reps, various electeds and their appointed flunkies, with special guests from SANDAG and MTS — basically everyone with a vested interest in saying San Diego can handle all the development the developer lobby wants.


Frank Gormlie September 24, 2021 at 4:27 pm

Sounds like another post, eh Mat?


Mat Wahlstrom September 24, 2021 at 6:00 pm

Sigh. So much corruption to bare, so little time,



Reader SD September 24, 2021 at 9:06 pm

There are unlimited monthly car wash memberships, for one example of absurd water use, and all the daily dog showers. Let alone all the pools in people’s yards. Etc Etc..It will dry up before the government does anything about it. Then it will be arms and rationing. All else is a rain barrel and a tweet on sustainability. Get ready.


kh September 25, 2021 at 10:05 am

In other news, click here to view Gavin Newsom‘s sprawling estate on 8 acres with massive lush green lawns, fountains, and multiple pools.


Asking people to cut 15% more, implies that they are wasting water. I think the crazy Highwater Ritz has the most conserving.

A study on a proposed desal plant in Orange County shows it would triple users water bill. https://www.lagunabeachindy.com/south-coast-water-district-digs-into-desalination-costs/

But yeah let’s build build build. Maybe the state should be sponsoring affordable housing projects and density in Minnesota instead.


Sam September 25, 2021 at 6:58 pm

That’s exactly right KH. Doubling down on constantly expanding the population anywhere in the western states is just flat out stupid. We simply do not have the resources to keep up with demand.


kh September 27, 2021 at 2:57 pm

“high water rates” not “highwater ritz”. But at these rates it might as well be the ritz.


sealintheSelkirks September 25, 2021 at 10:16 pm

Not to be snarky or anything but “sound planning and decades-long ratepayer investments in new water supplies” are exactly what? And more pointedly WHERE does all this ‘new’ water supposedly comes from?

It sure isn’t the Colorado because it’s drying the hell up. Look at recent pics of Lake Mead and Glenn Canyon lately? Oh MY! There surely can’t be that much coming from groundwater wells since San Diego is, after all, part of the northern Sonora Desert which isn’t known for lots of free-flowing water sources…

Maybe they have a magic sprinkler that never runs dry?

And this isn’t a ‘drought’ at all, it’s a climatic shift from the Holocene normal of the last 10,000 years to something none of us are liking too much so far and it’s only really starting to get spooky scary. Doubtful it’s going to magically change back, ya know?

Maybe I should get one of those SDCWA magic water sprinklers just in case?



Paul September 27, 2021 at 7:59 pm

Not to be snarky or anything but have you ever heard of the Pure Water project? https://www.epa.gov/wifia/pure-water-san-diego

Or that agriculture uses 80% of available water in California?

Water is used as another NIMBY scare tactic to prevent increased density. This just pushes development out to the exurbs where they use far more water per capita. Funny how there’s just enough water for these folks (“we got here first!”), but no one else.


sealintheSelkirks September 28, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Interesting. Supplying 30% of the drinking water by 2035. Of course that depends on how much the population grows in the next 14 years and how much water is available to be imported to treat and recycle after use. Which unfortunately continues to look more and more worrisome according to water managers across the desert southwest and the alarmist climatologists who are turning out to have been just a wee bit conservative in their estimates of how fast and how badly the climate will destabilize. Oops.

Arizona is facing a pretty hefty cut in their ‘water rights’ as they are the lowest on the Colorado River totem pole but with the climate buckling there’s no sure bet it won’t ripple down to the rest of the interstate water compact water districts with similar cuts. It is very doubtful that what used to be ‘normal’ rainfall will ever be seen again in our grandchildren’s lifetimes.

As for 80% of the water going to agriculture, yes I’ve read up on that, too. But notice that the taps were shut off for some farmers in the Central Valley this year? And veggie, fruit, & nut prices have climbed? While there is a hell of a lot that could be done to grow crops using far less water the amount of our country’s food supply that comes out of that area is huge…and imagine what the cost of a head of broccoli or cauliflower would climb to. Or an apple or orange or carrot or celery on and on the list goes. All from the Central Valley. Too many of the store boxes up here on the Canadian Border are marked ‘product of California,’ and for many food prices have already gotten beyond reach. Hence overfull food bank lines all over the country.

Look at old pictures of the San Diego area before imported water. OB was a big dry rock as was pretty much everywhere else in the region. Imagine the pipelines that bring the majority of water to SoCal having to shut down as rain and snowfall continues to diminish due to ongoing climate destabilization. Food grown to eat or drinking water to drink could become the question. Forget lawns and trees and greenery of non-native species (even the native species will have trouble with what is happening to the climate).

There are band aids that can be applied but they’ll cost a fortune like this $1.4 billion to water 1.4 million people. Change all BIG AG agriculture watering systems and get rid of all lawns down to zero-none. Never wash a vehicle again, never fill a swimming pool, let anything not native greenery adapted to this desert area die, put in a compost toilet. Plenty of other mitigation measures people can take but they’ll only work if there’s enough water in the first place and as the population continues to grow it gets harder to do…

The NIMBY thing? The first two settlements of Spanish invaders died to the last man, woman, and child. Cities in a desert are a seriously artificial construct balanced on the edge of a razorblade. Just ask the Anastazi…oh wait you can’t because all that is left are ruins… And people are growing cotton south of Phoenix. How insane is that?


PS: it’s been raining here since yesterday harder than I’ve seen in 6 months. JOY!


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