Reduce imported water percentage

Long-term, reduction of imported water will come from development of the Pure Water Program, which will provide up to one-third of the local water supply by 2035. Other water supply diversification efforts include deslinated and recycled water use and development of groundwater resources.

The Public Utilities Department has typically provided potable water from two sources. About 10-15 percent on average comes from local sources, especially reservoirs, and the remaining 85-90 percent is purchased from the San Diego County Water Authority. The majority of purchased water is raw imported water from the Colorado River and the California State Water Project.

Percentage of water demand met with imported water

Source: City of San Diego Public Utilities Department

Reduce per capita water consumption

Reducing the number of gallons of water consumed per capita per day (GPCD) is a requirement of the Conservation Act of 2009. The target reduction is 20 percent by 2020, using a 10-year base period, which is 142 gallons for San Diego. Reductions in GPCD encourage sustainable and efficient water use and allow water supplies to last longer.

A variation of GPCD, R-GPCD, measures only residential water use and is the focus of current drought response. The State Water Resources Control Board has used R-GPCD since June 2015 to calculate water use reduction targets and effectiveness of water conservation measures.

Gallons per capita per day (gallons of water used citywide divided by population)

Source: City of San Diego Public Utilities Department

Implement Pure Water program on schedule

Pure Water San Diego is the City’s phased, multi-year program to use proven water purification technology to produce a safe, sustainable and high-quality water supply for San Diego through potable reuse. The program is environmentally friendly and will make San Diego more water independent and resilient against drought, climate change and natural disasters while reducing the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant’s ocean discharges.

The program is divided into three phases. New treatment and conveyance facilities will be located in the northern, central and southern areas of the City. The first phase will construct facilities in northern San Diego adjacent to the existing North City Water Reclamation Plant off Miramar Road and Interstate 805 and produce up to 30 million gallons of purified water per day by the end of 2021. The long term goal is to produce 83 million gallons of purified water per day (one-third of San Diego’s future drinking water supply) by completion in 2035.

Pure Water program construction phases

Decrease percentage of days beaches are closed due to water quality

The City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, with Transportation & Storm Water Department and the San Diego County Department of Public Health, are focused on eliminating sewer spills, stormwater contamination, and beach closures. This is important for continuous public safety and recreational enjoyment at San Diego’s beaches. Beach closures are issued whenever a sewage spill impacts a beach and the public should avoid contaminated waters.

Sewer spill events are diligently investigated and the public is notified through, Twitter, Facebook, email, press release, phone hotline, and beach signage. Sampling and analysis are conducted to ensure the water is safe prior to lifting closures.

Number of days San Diego beaches were closed due to sewer spills

Source: City of San Diego Public Utilities Department

Reduce CO2 emissions from City sources

A Climate Action Plan the City Council passed in 2015 established a citywide baseline of Co2 emissions at 12.9 million metric tons. CAP outlines the actions the City will take to reduce emissions both throughout the community and specifically from City sources.

These actions and supporting measures include a Municipal Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan to reduce energy consumption, a Zero Net Energy Policy for new City-owned buildings, smart monitoring systems for City facilities that provide energy consumption data, and LEED certification for existing City buildings, among others.

Projected and target emission levels in metric tons compared with the 2010 baseline emissions

* During Fiscal Year 2016, new departmental tactical plans and key performance indicators were developed. This is a new indicator, so historical information for this metric is unavailable.

Source: City of San Diego Climate Action Plan

Advance public-private partnerships that facilitate alternative energy use

The City has a number of partnerships that facilitate the reduction of energy use and encourage the use of renewable energy, including:

  • Fuel cell systems at Point Loma and South Bay treatment facilities
  • Power Purchase Agreements for solar arrays at Alvarado and Otay water treatment facilities
  • Power Purchase Agreements for landfill gas/digester gas generators at the sewage and biosolids treatment plans next to the Miramar Landfill

Mega Watts of renewable energy generated or energy sold through partnerships

Source: City of San Diego Environmental Services Department

The City was also a founding member of Cleantech San Diego, a nonprofit organization that creates private-public-academic collaborations, leads cleantech advocacy efforts, and encourages investment in the San Diego region. Through Cleantech, the City participates in working groups and collaborative forums focused on accelerating clean technology innovation and encouraging adoption of sustainable business practices.

To maximize the ability to deploy measures in support of the Climate Action Plan more quickly, the City collaborates on innovative implementation models and procurement methods.

Sources: City of San Diego Economic Development Department; City of San Diego Environmental Services Department

Extend the useful life of Miramar landfill

The City has been actively pursuing measures to extend the life of the Miramar landfill by increasing capacity of the permitted landfill space and by diverting materials through reduction, reuse, and recycling programs. The remaining capacity of the landfill has increased over the previous five years through:
  • Vertical expansions
  • Using a "pancake" method to increase compaction
  • Alternating tarps with dirt as a daily cover
  • Leasing a larger, heavier class of trash compactor
Additional efforts to improve recycling and implement the City's Zero Waste Plan have also pushed anticipated closure of the landfill to 2030.

Tonnage received at Miramar landfill

Miramar landfill space over time

Source: City of San Diego Environmental Services Department

Satellite image from Google Maps

Expand the number of bike-friendly miles

The City wants to make cycling a more practical and convenient transportation option for San Diegans. Expanding the number of bike-friendly miles encourages people to commute by bike and ride recreationally.

The existing bicycling network consists of the following types of bikeways:

  • Bike paths (Class I)
  • Bike lanes (Class II)
  • Bike routes (Class III)
  • Freeway shoulders

Bike-friendly miles added or improved

Source: City of San Diego Transportation & Storm Water Department

Increase opportunities for alternative modes of transportation

DecoBike San Diego is a bike sharing program that provides bikes for rent at 94 stations around San Diego. Bike sharing programs take away some of the downsides to owning a bike, such as losing the bike to theft, incurring maintenance costs and taking up space for storage. Encouraging residents to chose biking over public transportation or personal vehicles helps the City meet goals of reducing parking and traffic congestion and air pollution.

Decobike transactions (check-ins and check-outs) for calendar year 2015

Sources: DecoBike San Diego 2015 annual report; City of San Diego Transportation & Storm Water Department

Adequate street lighting and pedestrian countdown timers are two tools the City uses to encourage people to choose walking over driving. Pedestrian countdown timers have been proven to reduce crashes at signalized intersections.

The City has more than 40,000 street lights in operation. Nine thousand of these belong to local community Lighting Districts, and more than 4,000 are in parks, community ball fields and other City facilities. The City also shares responsibility with Caltrans for lights on freeway ramps that intersect City streets.

Number of intersections with funded or programmed pedestrian countdown timers

Source: City of San Diego Transportation & Storm Water Department

Streetlights funded or programmed

Source: City of San Diego Transportation & Storm Water Department

Increase accessibility for people with disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a Federal law that prohibits discrimination based on ability. The City must follow regulations to make all programs, services, and activities accessible to person with disabilities, whether that requires program changes or structural changes.

The City has a Transition Plan for making structural changes to comply with ADA, such as installing curb ramps. To support this plan, residents can make a complaint about any ADA issue with regard to program or facility access. Complaints can be phoned in to the City’s Disability Services Coordinator or any City department or submitted online using the Make a Complaint link found under the Office of ADA Compliance and Accessibility’s website.

Percentage decrease in average resolution timeframe for funded Transition Plan and complaint projects

Source: Office of ADA Compliance and Accessibility

Percentage decrease in complaints regarding increase accessibility for people with disabilities

Source: Office of ADA Compliance and Accessibility

Maintain strong reserves across City operations

The City's Reserve Policy (Council Policy 100-20) documents the approach to establishing and maintaining reserves to effectively manage economic downturns and other external forces that are not in the City's control.

Before fiscal year 2014, the General Fund Reserve policy target was 8 percent of General Fund revenue. Beginning that fiscal year, the revised policy segmented the fund with the creation of the General Fund Emergency Reserve and the General Fund Stability Reserve. In April 2016, an amendment to the policy was approved that includes a plan to incrementally increase the stability reserve by 2.2% over a five-year period, or 6.5% to 8.7% by fiscal year 2021. The target level for the General Fund Reserves is based on the most recent three-year average of annual audited General Fund operating revenues.

Reserve Policy percent target

Sources: City of San Diego Financial Management Department

Build national and international partnerships

In an increasingly integrated world economy, more strategic global economic engagement is crucial to San Diego’s sustained economic competitiveness. To achieve this, San Diego is focused on creating jobs, increasing competitiveness, and boosting the region’s global identity, all which require a collaborative approach between government, industry, community groups, and academic partners.

The City of San Diego maintains over 100 partnerships with such entities which include cities and other local governments, international partner organizations representing a variety of diverse ethnicities, professional associations, and other entities like The Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase who help support economic development.

Governments and organizations with which the City of San Diego has a partnership

Sources: City of San Diego Economic Development Department; Neighborhood Services Branch; and the Office of the Mayor

Increase business growth and value in the traded sectors

The City's economic development efforts include promoting job creation and retention, keeping our economy strong and diversified as it grows, and increasing the size of the local tax base.

A successful economic development strategy focuses on industries that produce goods and services sold outside of San Diego because those industries - known as economic base industries - create jobs and wealth for the region. Military, tourism, international trade and logistics, and innovation and manufacturing are four of San Diego's major economic base industries.

64.6 billion

Business value in traded sectors

in 2016

Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis; City of San Diego Economic Development Department

Increase outreach efforts to diverse business sectors

Keeping businesses in San Diego and attracting new businesses in key economic base industries are purposes of the Business Expansion, Attraction and Retention (BEAR) program.

A business has many options when choosing a location. Aggressive competition from cities in other states and economic pressures can prevent a company from choosing San Diego. Proactive engagement by local leaders reduces uncertainty and makes our city a more attractive location. The City has helped companies navigate local permitting and land-use regulations, market themselves in the region, and develop strong bonds with existing companies as well as improved local regulations that may be a barrier for new businesses.

Businesses assisted through BEAR

Source: City of San Diego Economic Development Department.
Most current data reflect a change in methodology where only direct engagement by EDD staff is counted. Other activity, such as businesses attended an EDD-facilitated event, is no longer counted.

Increase the number and/or value of companies that are exporting

San Diego earns money through export of goods and services. Some of our highest-value goods have been developed as a result of the region's robust research and development activities at UC San Diego, private research institutions and local incubators.


San Diego businesses

exporting in 2015

18.1 billion

Value of San Diego

exported products in 2016

Sources: International Trade Administration; City of San Diego Economic Development Department; San Diego Regional EDC