Reader KB wrote with a question on my story about the city of San Diego’s draft methodology for dishing out water cuts. (It needs City Council approval.)

Do you mean that Scott Peters, who uses a million gallons a year, will have to conserve the same amount as a grandmother in Clairemont who uses only a few gallons to water her petunias?

Peters, as you may remember, used more than 1 million gallons at his La Jolla home in 2007, at the same time he was touting the need to conserve every drop. Peters and Grandma won’t have to save the same volume of water if cuts come. They will have to save the same percentage.

Peters cut his consumption in 2008. But let’s use 2007 as a hypothetical and assume that the city tells residents to cut 20 percent of their use.

A person who has consumed an average of 1 million gallons annually would be forced to use 800,000 gallons.

If Grandma uses 100,000 gallons a year — a bit less than the average San Diegan household — she’d have to cut down to 80,000 gallons a year.

So the heavy user has to cut more volume — 200,000 gallons versus 20,000 gallons — but the heavier user is still, comparatively, a water hog.


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