Drought-related water cutbacks could affect several San Diego-area industries, according to one new study.
Agriculture, breweries, dry cleaners, food manufacturers and construction firms could suffer in the face of water cutbacks, A National University System Institute of Policy Research (NUSIPR) study found, as those industries tend to use more water, though cutbacks will likely only have a limited impact on the city businesses otherwise.
The study looked at a data set on water consumed by different industries in the region.
The study found on average, non-agricultural businesses annually use 54,000 gallons of water per employee for outdoor landscaping, health and hygienic uses. Cutbacks will likely not have an impact on those businesses’ employment, though they will impact the heavier water users.
The agricultural sector consumed an average of 34 times more water per worker and cutbacks in acreage under production could have a negative impact on employment in the sector.
“Restrictions are likely to be felt among a handful of industries, which use water in core processes,” W. Erik Bruvold, President of NUSIPR, said in a statement. “First among these will be agriculture, but we could see negative impacts on a half dozen other industries based upon this data."
San Diego’s “Professional, scientific and technical services” industry, which includes the much of the city’s high-tech and life sciences industries, use 45 percent more water on a per employee basis.