Water Issues in San Diego

The challenge for Week 4:Make it global, had us thinking about water issues in our area.  After doing some research and thinking about what we already know, we can tell you that San Diego has two main issues. These issues are: a limited water supply because of where we live; and pollution of our waterways, including our bays and ocean.

San Diego has a limited water supply because we have a mild climate and San Diego is a dry desert-like land. We usually see 41 days of rain a year compared to other U.S. cities that see 110 days of rain on average each year. In San Diego our average temperature in spring is 69/47 Fahrenheit, summer is 83/58 Fahrenheit, fall (autumn) is 73/50 Fahrenheit, and winter is 59/40 Fahrenheit. So you see our climate is very mild and it hardly rains. Most of our water is imported from Northern California and the Colorado River by huge aqueducts.

We also struggle with pollution in the waterways. San Diego is located on the coast by the Pacific Ocean. We have large bays too, like the San Diego Bay and Mission Bay.  These bodies of water are often polluted due to water run off when it rains. The chemicals used on lawns and gardens are washed off and into the storm drains when it rains. Also, oil from leaky cars and other chemical spills are washed into the drains too. This water then empties directly into the ocean and bays polluting the water.

Mission Bay
Mission Bay in San Diego, California, is often polluted by storm drain run off.

Also, RVs and boats sometimes don’t use dump stations for waste and empty the waste into the waterways instead. This is illegal of course and pollutes the water. We were really surprised to learn that about 10% of the water pollution in Mission Bay is caused by birds too.Trash is also a source of pollution.

There are lots of things that we can do to conserve or save water, and keep our waterways clean. Here are a few things we thought of:

  1. Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth.
  2. Take shorter showers.
  3. Throw trash in trashcans.
  4. Don’t use chemicals on your lawn and garden.
  5. Pick up your dog’s poop and put it in a trashcan.
  6. Sweep the driveway instead of hosing it down.

What do you suggest we do to save water or prevent pollution?

Attribution: By Philkon (Phil Konstantin) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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