Mayor’s climate plan calls for reducing water use, greener city

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SAN DIEGO -- By 2035, San Diegans will need to reduce per capita water consumption by 9 gallons a day and figure out a way to derive all the electricity used in the city from renewable resources, according to an updated climate change plan unveiled Tuesday.

The draft Climate Action Plan issued by Mayor Kevin Faulconer will be reviewed in public hearings before being presented to the City Council for approval.

“By striking a balance between protecting our environment and growing our economy, San Diego can support clean technology, renewable energy and economic growth,'' Faulconer said. “I've brought together environmental and business groups to update this plan and move San Diego forward.''

Countywide, per capita water consumption averages about 140 gallons per day.

Other 2035 goals include reducing electricity consumption in apartments and condominiums by 50 percent, by 53 percent in commercial properties and by 40 percent in city buildings; expanding the use of photovoltaic solar panels; and getting people out of cars by promoting mass transit, walking or bicycling.

Faulconer's action plan met most of the recommendations made by the City Council last week.

“This plan demonstrates that San Diego is a progressive leader in addressing climate change, and that we value our people and our environment enough to take such decisive and strong action,'' council President Todd Gloria said.

Councilman David Alvarez, who heads the Environment Committee and has called for an aggressive climate change plan, said he was pleased the mayor followed the council's lead.

A spokeswoman for a coalition of environmental groups said members were looking at the mayor's proposals but had no immediate comment.

Among the mayor's proposals are requiring developers to install conduit for solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations in new construction; changing policies so that most of the city's vehicle fleet can be electric; converting trash trucks to run on natural gas; synchronizing traffic signals to improve the flow of traffic; and capturing methane from water treatment plants.

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