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This was submitted as an idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. VOSD members will vote on the best ideas and on Sept. 19 we’ll announce six contenders (Not a member? Join now to vote). At Politifest on Sept. 29, each of the six finalists will have five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel. The panel rates the ideas and two finalists advance. The crowd at Politifest will vote on a winner. The winner will receive an “idea-inspired” trophy custom-designed by former City Councilwoman Donna Frye. VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will also write about the winner’s idea.

It is understandable why there are 24 water agencies in San Diego County when you look at how the region developed over the last 100 years. Years ago, the county had far fewer people and development was spread out. If you needed water, out of necessity you had to form a water district to be able to build the infrastructure to get the water. Now with most water districts abutting one another, it is hard to rationalize the need for so many agencies.

By consolidating many of these agencies, we could gain efficiencies by eliminating duplicate staffing positions. When looking at water agencies we can also benefit from bringing different water utility functions together. Some water agencies have potable (drinking) water treatment capabilities. Others have expertise in recycled water, while others have experience in sewage treatment. There are other opportunities, utilizing the latest technologies to help drive down costs, subcontracting out nonessential services, and the ability to purchase materials on a larger volume (cheaper) basis.

Mark Robak submitted this idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. Join us on Sept. 29!

Dagny Salas

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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