Water Shortage Is Focus In La Mesa

LA MESA -- The California drought is increasingly hitting home in the Jewel of the Hills.

At the upcoming City Council meeting Tuesday, city public works officials will outline a long list of steps being taken to reduce public water use, including re-landscaping buildings, replacing thirsty turf with succulents and other native, low-water plants. The city teams are also reprogramming and redirecting sprinklers to make sure trees live while other plants in the road medians make do with less water.

The city did apply for a waiver of the state limit of two-day a week watering with potable water because many of their parks are used by a big number of residents. They were granted the waiver, but intend to try and live with the watering limits as much as possible in the parks.

Representatives from the Helix Water District will also be on hand at Tuesday's meeting to answer questions about the restrictions.

These have been difficult days to be in the water business. With citizens scrambling to limit use and deliveries from the Sacramento Delta and Colorado River on the decline, water districts find themselves in the unenviable position of encouraging conservation, but charging higher rates for the water that is delivered. Customers like to think reduced use will mean reduced bills, but the fixed costs of operating the water systems don't decline as the flows through their pipes do.

Desalinization plans and so-called gray water recovery efforts are underway but those efforts are costly and  don't holdout the kind of help that could come with some heavy rains  and snows across California in the next rainy season.

In the meantime, expect the once lush, semitropical landscaping that was a SoCal signature to continue a slow march back to native plants and trees that can handle a semi-arid environment.

The council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on Allison Avenue. CLICK HERE for the full agenda.

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Tags: Government, La Mesa City Council, La Mesa Today, La Mesa newspaper


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Comment by Batman on June 19, 2015 at 3:45pm

Southern California is always in a drought, it just varies in severity. Our state bureacracies would do better for us by building more aqueducts and water storage infrastrucure to compensate for the more severe times. But it appears that cracking-down on citizens' water usage is much more fun for them.

The severe penalties for "water wasters" may discourage residents from keeping their domestic vegetation green, thus setting us up for major wildfire distasters right in the middle of our cities. Replacing domestic plants with native/wild vegetation (weeds) is suicidal, in my opinion. Virtually all natural/wild plants (weeds) in Southern California are extremely combustible. The light grasses drop seed and die at the end of the rainy season. The green plants only stay green and alive through summer and fall because of the tremendous amount of oil in their leaves. Not only should wild vegetation (weeds) not be planted in residential yards it should be thinned out or cut down completely near urban/suburban neighborhoods. As a matter of fact if you own a vacant lot with natural vegetation (weeds) growing on it the local fire department can force you to cut it down, at your expense.



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