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How San Diego secured its water supply, at a cost

San Diego Water
AP Photo/Gregory Bull
An official at the Carlsbad Desalination plant fills a cup with filtered water made from ocean water, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Carlsbad, Calif.The facility is the Western hemisphere's largest desalination plant, which removes salt and impurities from ocean water.

As a worsening drought forces millions of Californians to use less water, one corner of Southern California has largely shielded itself from supply-related woes: San Diego County.

The path it took to get there serves either as a blueprint or a cautionary tale for Western water planners.

San Diego’s water is now among the most expensive in the country.

That's prompted two largely agricultural irrigation districts in the region to try to break away from the regional water supplier saying they can purchase cheaper water elsewhere.

Experts say that would push costs up even more as the state sinks deeper into drought.