A view of the Colorado River as it flows through northern Arizona / Image via Shutterstock

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On Tuesday, Los Angeles officials prohibited Angelenos from watering outdoor landscapes — except one day a week. 

But those same restrictions won’t be coming to San Diego for the foreseeable future, as MacKenzie Elmer reports. That’s because San Diego, for the most part, doesn’t use the same water supply as Los Angeles. 

L.A. gets much of its water from northern California. And since California is in the third year of a drought, that water is increasingly hard to come by.

San Diego, on the other hand, gets much of its water from the Colorado River, via an agreement to purchase water from Imperial County. San Diego also gets a significant portion of water from a desalination plant in Carlsbad, which is not drought dependent. 

Read the full story here

Escondido Council Still Undecided on Tax Measure That Could Solve Budget Problem

The Escondido City Council is again considering a tax measure on the November ballot that could help the city’s budget crisis — a very similar measure to the one the council rejected two years ago.

Tackling Escondido’s budget crisis won’t be an easy task, writes Tigist Layne in the latest North County Report. The city currently projects a budget deficit of $8 million in the upcoming fiscal year and around $150 million over the next 20 years. 

In 2020, city staff proposed a one-cent tax increase that was projected to generate $28 million annually. The measure had 71 percent of residents’ support, but failed with Councilman Mike Morasco voting against it. 

The council now has an opportunity to put a similar measure on the upcoming November ballot, but it is unclear if Morasco will change his mind — or, even if he does, whether his fellow conservative-leaning councilmembers will join him in supporting a tax measure that supporters argue could fix the city’s fiscal outlook.  

Read more about the measure and how the city plans to get community input here.

County Moves Forward With Contractor Transparency Rules

San Diego County moved forward on Wednesday with new building regulations that will require greater transparency around the use of subcontractors on development projects in unincorporated areas.

The changes are part of a larger effort intended to rein in workplace abuses that disproportionately affect immigrant laborers. They passed 4-1 and are slated to come up for another vote on May 11.

Last year, Jesse Marx and Maya Srikrishnan reported that wage theft for low-wage workers is common, and the task of documenting workplace abuses has typically fallen on advocacy groups and unions, not law enforcement. Most don’t come forward because they fear being fired or even deported. The exploitation has been allowed to flourish thanks in part to subcontracting. 

In a statement, Fletcher noted that approximately 14,000 to 18,000 building permits and 2,200 right-of-way permits are issued annually, and the overwhelming majority of those projects rely on subcontractors.

Times of San Diego reported that Supervisor Jim Desmond, the lone no vote, called the additional rules “bureaucratic overkill.” He said they would slow down construction at a crucial moment and weren’t well-received by builders. 

In Other News

This Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry, Jesse Marx and Tigist Layne. It was edited by Megan Wood and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

Clarification: This post has been updated to reflect that San Diego gets its water from the Colorado River via an agreement to purchase water from Imperial County.

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