San Diego to start sending letters to water hogs

San Diego's biggest water hogs will start getting letters from the city as early as this week, telling them to schedule a free efficiency audit.

The biggest residential water user, a La Jolla customer, used 5.5 million gallons during a recent 12-month period - enough to serve about 44 typical homes, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Letters have gone out to the top 1,000 consumers, urging them to correct problems and conserve in light of the drought, which is now three years in the making. San Diego, the largest water district in the county, serves about 219,000 households.

The letter campaign fits with the City Council's recent approval of mandatory conservation measures that will start June 1. The city, like other local water agencies, is trying to reduce consumption by about 8 percent.

City officials declined to disclose the names of the biggest water users. During the state's last major drought, in the early 1990s, the city "outed" its biggest water hogs.

Then in 1997, the Legislature passed a law to protect the privacy of utility customers.

Of the top five consumers, four are in La Jolla and one is in Torrey Pines. The top 20 list included more La Jolla residents, plus those living in communities such as Carmel Valley, Del Mar and Point Loma.

   
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