No one used more water at home in the city of San Diego last year than customer No. 19-02702-23, who somehow found a way to use 5,524,728 gallons between November 2007 and October 2008.

That’s according to a redacted list of the top 100 residential water users in San Diego released by the city. The households’ names and addresses were deleted.

The list provides some perspective on how much water the city’s single-family homes use. Everyone in the top 100 used more than 1 million gallons — more than eight times the typical household. By using five million gallons, the top user’s water bill would run more than $25,000 annually.

The Union-Tribune, which detailed the list in a Saturday story, reported that four of the top five users live in La Jolla; one is in Torrey Pines.

(We do know that Scott Peters, the former city councilman who used more than 1 million gallons in 2007, does not appear on the list. We have his old bills and his customer number from his time on City Council. It’s not on the list.)

As a single group, the top 100 constitute one of the largest consumers in the city. They use less than the San Diego Zoo and a bit more than San Diego County does for its parks and office buildings. The city’s Water Department is notifying the top 1,000 water users by mail, encouraging them to conserve and offering free water-use surveys.

During the last drought, the city of San Diego released the names of its top users. No. 1 was Helen Copley, the late publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune. She used an average of 10,203 gallons daily at her 9.5-acre estate, according to a Los Angeles Times story.

Today’s largest user consumes more than that, averaging 15,137 gallons per day.

The archived Times story contains an interesting tidbit:

One-third of all residential water use is outdoors-for landscape irrigation, filling pools and washing cars.

That’s changed during the last 20 years. Today, between 50 percent and 60 percent of the city’s water is used for outdoor irrigation.


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