San Diego’s City Council will not discuss a proposal that would require new apartments to be equipped with individual water meters. It had been scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight.

The discussion is being delayed until April 5. The council didn’t properly post public notice of today’s hearing — it said it was at the wrong time. So the discussion will wait.

The proposed law would require new apartments and condos to be outfitted with their own water meters. As it stands today, the hundreds of thousands of San Diegans who live in apartments don’t get water bills. They don’t have individual meters tracking their unit’s use — just the complex’s. Nearly half of the city’s residents live in apartments or condos.

While the law wouldn’t require those existing complexes to retrofit their plumbing — unless major pipe replacements were underway — it would apply to the more than 80,000 new apartments and condos expected to be built in San Diego between now and 2030.

Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who’s drafted the measure, points to studies showing that individualized meters can help reduce an apartment’s use between 15 and 39 percent. Those types of savings have increasingly become a policy focus for the city as its water supplies have tightened because of drought and protections for fish in the Sacramento Delta.


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