Today on Café San Diego, we’re talking about the quality of our water.

The League of Conservation Voters, along with other environmental organizations in San Diego, released two water quality report cards yesterday. They’re available for download on the website.

The report cards collect how elected officials voted on issues related to water quality in San Diego. Some received good grades, others received far worse.

The purpose of the report cards is simple: to keep elected officials accountable.

San Diegans care about water quality. And it’s not just because we like our beaches. There are a broad range of water quality issues facing our region. Elected officials deal with problems that affect the quality of the ocean water we swim in, the water we drink from the tap, and the water that runs through our rivers, streams, and watersheds.

Today on Café San Diego, we’ll have a series of posts about water quality in San Diego. We’ll examine how our elected officials voted on issues over the last year, and highlight some issues they’ll face in 2009.

By raising awareness of water quality issues, San Diegans will be empowered to demand sensible, water-friendly policy from their elected officials. In our view, an informed voting public will want to reward officials who vote to protect water quality, and exert pressure against those who fail to do so.

Two report cards were generated, one for the county of San Diego, and another is for the city. Each describes a number of policy votes placed before the mayor and City Council and the Board of Supervisors.

The San Diego chapters of Surfrider, Coastkeeper and the Sierra Club all contributed funding for the report card. The report card itself was produced by Strategic Community Consulting, an independent group which provides consulting services from the UCSD Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) to nonprofit clients in the San Diego area.

Copies of the report cards are available for download for the city, and for the county. (Note, they’re large files.)

— COLIN PARENT

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