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Mayor Jerry Sanders said today that city residents have not been conserving enough water: Consumption was down about 5.7 percent between October 2007 and July 2008 (compared to a year earlier).

Unless conservation increases, Sanders said more severe water restrictions could be imposed sometime between the winter and spring. Sanders recommended a host of water-saving tips for city residents to heed. (Example: Don’t wash your driveway off with a hose.)

“All of us need to do more,” Sanders said. “5.7 percent is not enough.”

As Sanders has highlighted the need for water conservation, the city has been continually spending less on it. Sanders’ 2009 budget included $2.3 million for conservation programs — a $1.2 million cut from two years ago when water was more plentiful.

Asked about the decrease, Sanders directed questions to Luis Generoso, the city’s water conservation program manager. Generoso said the city is trying to “leverage the resources we have region-wide,” pointing to the $1.8 million advertising campaign that’s been developed by the San Diego County Water Authority.

ROB DAVIS

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