You could call it the Case of the Invisible Water Hog.

Someone — or more than one someone — appears to have been using extra water in the San Diego apartment complex where our senior reporter Rob Davis lives. The landlord posted a note on his door announcing that water usage in the complex is up by 17 percent.

Whodunnit? Good question. In San Diego’s apartments and condos, it can be impossible to know who’s using more than their share of water.

Nosy neighbors could investigate, but imagine all the trouble that could cause. Janelle next door looks well-moisturized! Is she using the shower to create a steam room each morning? And why do Francisco’s azaleas look so darned healthy? Could he be watering on the wrong days of the week?

Next month, the City Council will consider what may be a better idea: ordering new apartments and condos (with some exceptions) to install individual water meters.

As for our reporter, he says he’s been conserving water and even reported a leaky toilet in his apartment a few months ago. “I’d actually learned what a leaky toilet looked like when I was inside Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s bathroom when his water audit was being done,” he says.

Being a reporter sure is glamorous, isn’t it?

In other news:

  • We’ve been focusing a lot lately on City Heights. Now we ask for your thoughts about the questions we should be asking. And we have details about a documentary about City Heights that’s airing tonight.
  • Would the school year for San Diego schoolchildren be shorter if teachers take furlough days? Yup. “So much for keeping the cuts as far away from the kids as possible!” complains one of our commenters.
  • The Fact Check blog examines a claim that the San Diego school district’s proposed budget will save arts funding from the ax. Is that true? Find out. And we’ve got video of last week’s Fact Check TV segment on NBC 7/39. They’re not exactly fashion plates (more like fashion saucers?) but your hosts are looking pretty snazzy in their dark suits.
  • The “Olympics of Science” has been in town for the last few days: it’s a meeting of one of the country’s top science organizations. We’ve got a quick roundup of comments about the future of the internet world from two local big shots.
  • What’s black, red, yellow and sorta peach-ish all over? The Photo of the Day.


  • San Diego has a curfew for minors once again. It had been suspended for a couple weeks because of a lawsuit. 
  • San Diego City Council members won’t be getting raises. (U-T)
  • Guess who might get to help pay for the damage from the 2007 wildfires? You. “Ratepayer advocates with the California Public Utilities Commission say San Diego Gas & Electric plans to ask customers to cover the costs of claims stemming from the 2007 wildfires,” KPBS reports
  • The top student leader at UCSD suspended funding for 33 campus media outlets in the wake of the racial flap. The editor of the alternative newspaper known as the Koala, which has long basked in offensiveness, “declined to discuss the matter yesterday unless offered beer.” (U-T)

    Meanwhile, the Sacramento Bee is aggravated that Democrats in the Assembly, including two top state legislators, spent time focusing on the UCSD mess instead of the budget.

  • Rep. Darrell Issa wants to know how the heck “a man posed as a U.S. marshal to bypass airport security in San Diego and deport his cousin’s wife to the Philippines.” (AP)
  • He might someday go down as the greatest professional football player in San Diego’s history. But now, LaDainian Tomlinson is no longer a Charger — the team released him yesterday after 9 record-breaking seasons. (U-T).

    The team’s Facebook page was overwhelmed with fans sharing their favorite LT moments and sending him messages. And we’ve got a gallery of LT photos.

  • Finally, local critters are making the news once again: the BBC says researchers at the Wild Animal Park are gaining insight into how female elephants communicate by studying the growls they make when they communicate with each other. Most of the growls are too low for humans to hear. 

    There’s no word on how much time the female elephants spend chatting about the cutest male elephants. (Maybe they’re tall, dark and wrinkly?)


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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