Water and wastewater measures focus on increasing water efficiency in appliances in new residential development, reducing treated water used in landscaping within new residential development and at County facilities, and helping unincorporated county residents capture and utilize rainwater at home. Measures in this sector will help the County achieve reductions of 14,148 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020 and 17,622 in 2030.

On September 30, 2020, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors voted to set aside its approval of the County’s 2018 Climate Action Plan (2018 CAP) and related actions because the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (2018 CAP SEIR) was found to be out of compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In response to this Board action, staff are preparing a Climate Action Plan Update (CAP Update) to revise the 2018 CAP and correct the items identified by the Court within the Final 2018 CAP SEIR that were not compliant. The 2018 CAP and EIR are being revised in partnership with residents, and business and environmental groups. The County continues implementing sustainability measures to effectively reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) as part of its ongoing commitment to the environment. The court ruling struck down part of the 2018 CAP’s EIR but did not find fault with its 26 GHG reduction measures. Learn more about the CAP Update.


Strategy W-1 – Reduce Potable Water Consumption

Strategy W-2 – Increase Rainwater Use


Climate change magnifies the frequency, severity, and length of drought conditions in our region and state. Reducing indoor and outdoor water use and capturing rainwater for irrigation results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction, processing, and transportation of treated water.

2020 Achievements

  • Reduced County facility water consumption by 38.8% from 2014 levels
  • Distributed 1,033 rain barrels in 2020 and 8,828 barrels since 2015!
  • Adopted updates to the Landscaping Ordinance to achieve a 40% reduction in water use for outdoor landscaping from 2014 levels
  • Adopted updates to the County’s Water Efficient Landscape Design Manual
  • Adopted updates to the Building Code to improve indoor water efficiency


  • The Borrego Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plan was the first sustainability plan created in California. The Plan ensures groundwater resources can be sustainably managed and the is the first to comprehensively determine groundwater rights. The County received an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties in 2020. (NACo Category: Community & Economic Development).