Like many American cities, San Diego is struggling to find enough money to pay for increasingly strict stormwater rules and requirements. In the next five years, the city will have to increase its spending on stormwater projects an average of $164 million annually, more than it costs to run its park and library systems combined. The most difficult decision is whether to repair existing infrastructure or to build new facilities.
In its most recent bond issue, San Diego told investors that rising stormwater costs were a risk to its financial stability. To help pay for stormwater projects, the city could increase homeowners’ monthly fees by more than 1,000 percent, though any increase would require a public vote.
If the city doesn’t find the money, it could face up to $37,500 in daily fines every time it pollutes the ocean.