Water quality in San Diego County’s dozen watersheds improved overall in 2016 for the first time in three years, San Diego Coastkeeper reported Tuesday.
In its 2016 San Diego County Water Quality Report, the environmental organization rated two of the watersheds to be of good quality — the San Luis Rey River in the North County and Rose Creek in San Diego. Most of the others were rated as fair.
“Of course, a single year of overall better water quality readings does not mean San Diego’s water will keep improving,” said Meredith Meyers, Coastkeeper’s lab manager.
“It takes many years for patterns to emerge,” Meyers said. “That’s why our long-term water monitoring is so crucial. We can provide decision- makers with the big picture and that makes for more effective, data-based policy.”
Coastkeeper said the improvement might have been the result of conservation policies stemming from the recently ended drought. Urban runoff is the primary cause of pollution in the region’s waterways.
The Pueblo watershed running through parts of La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City and San Diego was marginal, according to Coastkeeper’s water monitoring. The system includes Chollas Creek.
Coastkeeper said the Tijuana watershed wasn’t tested because it’s too polluted, making it unsafe for volunteers. The organization’s 152 volunteers collectively spent 1,908 hours monitoring water quality.
–City News Service
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