Gov. Brown promises to speed up water projects for San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gov. Brown promises to speed up water projects for San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Gov. Jerry Brown has promised to speed up the approval process for projects that increase the water supply in San Diego and around the state, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Tuesday.

Faulconer and mayors of other California cities met in Sacramento to discuss issues surrounding the state's severe drought.

"We had a positive meeting today with Gov. Brown on how best to tackle a statewide drought that is in its fourth year with no signs of stopping," Faulconer said.

Brown has ordered mandatory water use cutbacks of 25 percent following another dry and warm winter.

"The governor said he would speed up the approval process for projects that increase local water supplies," Faulconer said. "That's great news for San Diego as we begin work on the largest water recycling program in the state and create our own independent, drought-resistant water supply."

Faulconer said he asked the governor to commit to helping to expedite permitting and funding for the city's plan to recycle water into drinking water.

Boosters of the plan said the recycling system would provide 83 million gallons of water daily when it's fully operational in 2035 -- an amount equal to one-third of the city's water supply.

The mayor also requested that the state Water Resources Control Board take into account San Diego's previous conservation efforts and ongoing investment in new supplies.

In a letter to board officials, he said the city uses the same amount of water as in the 1980s, despite a large population increase and thriving tourism industry. The city, along with county water agencies, have also enlarged the San Vicente Reservoir and arranged to build a desalination plant in Carlsbad, which is on track to begin operations this fall.

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