Saturday, May 09, 2015

San Diego fills fishing lake with drinking water, despite drought

Despite a massive, multi-year drought in California, one city is choosing to use potable water for recreation. San Diego has pumped tens of millions of gallons of drinking water into a lake to maintain its sole use of recreational fishing.

Chollas Lake is a 16-acre basin of water in southeastern San Diego with no natural source of water. Since at least 2008, the city has been pumping drinking water into the reservoir, which is used for fishing by children 15 and under, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. 

San Diego has said that it would not stop the practice until the city entered a stage 2 water emergency. Currently, it is only in a level 2 drought alert. It received that designation in October. 

The city is in the process of creating a drought-control plan, which is expected to be finalized in the coming days, a city parks and recreation spokesman told U-T San Diego. 

City officials would not release any details about how much water has been pumped into the lake recently. 

As of 2008, the city pumped about 53 million gallons of water into the lake each year, which cost San Diego at least $140,000 annually.
At the time, the city said the water use was acceptable because it supports youth fishing and is a popular nucleus of Chollas Lake Park. 

In 2007, city residents were up in arms after rumors surfaced that San Diego planned to stop filling the lake because of the cost to the water department. At that point, the parks department decided to absorb the costs and continued filling the lake.......

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