San Diego has a desert climate. It isn’t just slightly short of water; it has virtually none. The average yearly rainfall is just nine inches. There are virtually no sources of fresh water; virtually all fresh water is piped in from elsewhere.
Historically, the city has not been very concerned about the environment, either. But that has changed in recent years. This photo, taken with an iPhone on the downtown waterfront, shows a sculpture of fish, kelp, and seabirds, illustrating and celebrating the interaction of different parts of the environment.
A more definitive sign of change is this sign, also photographed with an iPhone at the waterfront. Rather than have visiting cruise ships foul the air by running oil-fired shipboard engines while in port, San Diego is supplying green electrical power at dockside. A sign of a good sign.