Mayor Set to Pull Plug on Water Hogs

Using the back yard of a Tierrasanta resident as a backdrop, Mayor Jerry Sanders called on San Diegans to get serious about water conservation.

Sanders revealed what he has done personally to conserve and showed clear disappointment in the overall efforts of San Diegans.

"Despite some successes, we still continue to fall shrt of our goals," Sanders said.

Sanders reinforced Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's declaration of a statewide water emergency and the call for an immediate 20 percent reduction in water use. San Diego City officials say there is a 75 percent chance that mandatory water restrictions will be in place by July 1.  Initial penalties could be price-based, said the mayor.

"That means that when you go over a certain point, you'll be paying dearly for that water," Sanders said. "Secondly, we'll also put flow restrictors on people's houses so they just can't get any more water."

Tierrasanta resident Kathy Krause won't have anything to worry about. Several years ago, she ripped up her lawn and put in drought-resistant plants. The move has meant a 37 percent reduction in water use, she said. The mayor used her as an example of how easy and effective conservation methods can be.

Meanwhile, Sanders said he has reduced his family's water use by 40 percent during the last two years. He said that he pulled out landscaping and put in rocks, and pots with drought-tolerant plants last weekend.

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