A worker with CESPE filles up a large container with water on Friday, July 1, 2022. / Photo by Carlos A. Moreno for Voice of San Diego
A worker with CESPE filles up a large container with water on Friday, July 1, 2022. / Photo by Carlos A. Moreno for Voice of San Diego

The lifeline carrying all of Tijuana’s water from the Colorado River failed last month, so the city once again had to purchase water from California for millions of dollars.

Tijuana has been buying emergency water from California since the 1970s. But the recent drought compounded by Tijuana’s growing population and now problems with its infrastructure have caused the metropolis to buy more water from California last year than it had in the previous five. 

Mexican officials also announced Thursday that problems with a different aqueduct mean over 600 neighborhoods will have their water shut off while it’s being fixed. Though, the problems with the two aqueducts are reportedly unrelated. 

Read the full story here. 

Refresher: Where Does San Diego’s Water Come From? 

View of a canal in Imperial Valley on Nov. 15, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

If you live in San Diego, chances are a large portion of the water pouring from the tap, refilling the toilet tank and sprinkling the lawn comes from the Colorado River. But that river is dwindling, plagued by years of intensifying drought causing the states and countries that rely on it to cut their use.

San Diego used to buy that river water from one place, a city much despised by San Diegans for water reasons, or sports reasons, you name it: Los Angeles. After a wicked drought in the 1990s meant San Diego suffered huge water cuts brought down by its Los Angelean overlord, California’s southernmost region decided to diversify. 

Though San Diego still relies heavily on the Colorado River for water, it’s buying the river from other places, like its powerful farming neighbor to the east in Imperial Valley.

Read more about San Diego’s quest for more water sources. 

Video Bonus: A beloved Voice of San Diego reader once challenged Elmer that San Diegans wouldn’t know where their water comes from if we asked them. So, we did. You might be surprised by the responses. Check out the curbside interviews in our new video here. 

Storm Aftermath

A car stuck in the water on Hollister Street in San Ysidro on Jan. 17, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

A malfunction at a wastewater pumping station caused 500,000 gallons of raw sewage to be dumped into San Diego Bay, closing beaches to human contact. It was the largest of four sewage spills reported Monday alone, the Union-Tribune reported.  

County officials are asking residents to fill out a survey detailing damages caused to their properties during recent storms, City News Service reported, in hopes that a thorough accounting of the damage could qualify the region for disaster assistance. 

The city of San Diego is dispatching additional crews of road repair workers to address new potholes caused by the storms, Times of San Diego reported.

The storms also pushed Tijuana River wastewater into the ocean near the border, as they typically do, and once again resulted in beach closures in Imperial Beach and Coronado. But as the Coronado Times reports, those closures also caused the Navy to delay or cancel in-water training exercises

Climate change experts told the Los Angeles Times that the storms were likely not the result of global warming and were similar to intense, periodic storms the state has seen throughout its history. Alexander Gershunov, a climate scientist at San Diego’s Scripps Institute of Oceanography, told the paper researchers have not yet linked the storms to climate change, though climate models indicate the changes will boost storms in the future. 

In Other News

  • A taxpayer lawsuit over the city of San Diego’s 101 Ash Street executive could be coming to an end, after a Superior Court judge in a tentative ruling dismissed the middle-man broker as a defendant in the civil suit for the third time, the Union-Tribune reports. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday, and if the judge upholds the ruling, that will be that. 
  • Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is coming to San Diego to christen a Navy fuel ship. (Union-Tribune)
  • The company that operates emergency ambulances for the city of San Diego is still falling short of its agreed upon service levels more than a year after its contract with the city began, and its contract could soon be amended to let another ambulance company provide services with the city to get the city’s 9-1-1 response up, KPBS reports. 
  • Advocates for Friendship Park on the Tijuana border are pledging to fight the federal government’s plan to resume construction of a 30-foot wall through the site, the Union-Tribune reports. 
  • Doug Manchester has inked a deal with luxury hotel operator Fairmont Hotels and Resorts to run a 36-story, $550 million, 1,150-room hotel between Pacific Highway and Harbor Drive, the Union-Tribune reports. That’s the last piece of the property controlled by Manchester, after he sold the rest of the 12-acre site to the developer IQHQ two years ago. The company is now building a life sciences office campus there, a $1.6 billion project. 

The Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer and Andrew Keatts. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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