As Chair of the Natural Resources and Culture Committee I look forward to discussing and implementing a number of important issues in 2012. Among those are the following topics:
The Committee should work to create a more equitable water rate system that would promote conservation at the residential, industrial, commercial, and municipal levels. Actions would include development of a conservation-oriented tiered water rate structure for single-family residential customers.
When considering any rate case the Committee should prioritize accountability and transparency. It is also appropriate for the Committee to examine an enhanced role for the Independent Rates Oversight Committee (IROC) in this process.
Update on Cost of Service Study
Based on actions and updates before the Committee in 2011, the following discussions and actions are appropriate follow-up measures:
Emergency preparedness for water and wastewater systems, including back-up generation
Development of comprehensive long-term watershed management for flood control
Update on the Master Stonn Water System Maintenance Program and review options for implementation
In 2011 the City Auditor released a performance audit of the Public Utility Department's Capital Improvement Program. Included in the audit were a number of recommendations that the Department and the City Council agreed should be implemented. As such I believe that this committee should review and track implementation of City Auditor recommendations from the Public Utilities CIP Audit throughout the next year.
The City loses approximately 9% of the water it purchases in its delivery system due to water leakage. At the November 9, 2011, NR&C meeting, the Committee supported initiating a pilot program to test new technology that may enable the City to better track and predict water leaks in our city system- at no cost to the City. Sometime this Spring the Committee will see the results of whether this is a system that could work to help the City save water- and help the taxpayers save money. I look forward to seeing the results of the study and considering this project.
This Committee should take the following actions to complement and further City efforts to implement water reuse:
o Receive the 2012 Recycled Water Study and analyze how best to implement the Study recommendations
o Continue to docket Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) updates
o Prepare for the results of the Water Purification Demonstration Project
The Committee should support and review ways to invest in solar technology throughout the City including, but not limited to:
o Reviewing potential solar policy efforts under the Climate Action Plan implementation efforts
o Facilitating partnership efforts that allow solar and efficiency programs to continue on Housing Commission owned or operated facilities
o Providing updates on the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program and other clean energy programs available to San Diego residents
o Continued monitoring of potential rate changes by SDG&E that impact solar users
he 2011 Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Plan (CMAP) is a City effort to provide options for both city operations and the community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to begin to evaluate vulnerabilities in the community and outline adaptation strategies. Implementation actions should center on the following areas: o Existing buildings, Solar, Water, Food, and Transportation.
Last year the Parks and Recreation Department updated the Committee on the status of a new 5-year business plan for municipal golf course operations in the City. Throughout 2011 staff and the community have worked together to develop the new Golf Division Business Plan, which will be considered by this Committee in 2012. I look forward to discussing and implementing an updated 5-year plan.
The arts are an important civic resource that enrich people's lives and beautify our neighborhoods. As such I believe the following topics should be considered by this Committee in 2012:
Continue planning for the Balboa Park Centennial Celebration through regular updates from the 2015 Balboa Park Celebration Host Committee
Citywide Arts Update, including a review of the Public Art Program
I look forward to chairing the NR&C Committee in 2012 and working with each committee member on their priorities to ensure our ongoing commitment to protection and oversight of our precious natural and cultural resources throughout San Diego.