This organization has done a lot of investigations over the last three years but few have stuck in people’s minds the way Rob Davis‘ consistent update on the water use of members of the City Council has —specifically, of course, the prodigious consumption of the resource by Council President Scott Peters.
Why is that? Why does the story resonate so much?
Well, first off, it is the sheer amount of water he uses. Several months ago, Davis found that Peters had used more than 1 million gallons of water in a year. Today, Davis reports that Peters has cut that considerably — he’s now on track to use 650,000 gallons. But he has, so far, still used more than the mayor and five City Council members combined. Combined.
Well, who cares, right? Why does it matter? It originally became a story most especially because Peters himself had implored San Diegans to conserve water during what the governor now calls a water supply crisis.
It was the epitome of “do as I say, not as I do” politicking.
And then, after the first story came out, Peters was pressed in public and he vowed to lower his water use. When Davis found that the council president had actually increased his water consumption after that, it was an even bigger story.
Peters has a large plot of lush La Jolla land, he has argued, so give him a break. This tact was another reason the story stuck. Tip for aspiring politicians: The last thing people want to hear is just how rich you are and how entitled that makes you to consume so much more while urging everyone else to cut back.
If he wants to use so much more water than everyone else, I really wouldn’t mind. He’d just have to withdraw any partnership in any effort to try to convince San Diegans that they should conserve.
Now let’s restate the latest news: to Peters’ credit, he has dramatically cut his water usage.
He deserves kudos the way the uber-obese on the show “The Biggest Loser” do. Pat him on the back and then make him run some more laps around his sprawling estate.