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Lake Jennings - East County Advanced Water Purification Program - Woranuch Joyce

EPA Action Plan to Boost Water Reuse Across U.S.

The U.S. EPA today released a draft plan to advance water reuse nationally at the WateReuse Association Symposium in San Diego.

The National Water Reuse Action Plan identifies 46 proposed actions organized around 10 strategic objectives, including leadership and collaboration, to support the implementation of water reuse.

“Forty states anticipate experiencing fresh water shortages in certain regions within their borders over the next decade,” said David Ross, EPA’s assistant administrator for water. “Diversifying our nation’s water portfolio must be a nationwide priority, and water reuse has the potential to ensure the viability of our water economy for generations to come.”

The draft plan incorporates federal, state, tribal and local water perspectives and highlights key actions that support consideration and implementation of water reuse.

The San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have worked for decades to increase the region’s water supply reliability through supply diversification, and the Water Authority collaborated with its member agencies to submit comments to the EPA before the draft was released.

Increasing San Diego County's Water Supply Reliability through Supply Diversification

Recycled water and potable reuse are forecast to make up more than one-quarter of San Diego County’s water supply by 2035. Graphic: San Diego County Water Authority

National Water Reuse Action Plan a ‘game changer’

The draft plan will be open for public comment for 90 days following its publication to the Federal Register. During that period, EPA will solicit feedback about how to prioritize and implement the proposed actions.

EPA’s goal is to issue a final plan that will include clear commitments and milestones for actions that will further water reuse to bolster the sustainability, security and resilience of the nation’s water resources, according to the agency.

“The National Water Reuse Action Plan will be a game changer,” said Patricia Sinicropi, executive director of the WateReuse Association. “Communities across the country are incorporating water reuse into their water management strategies as a proven method for ensuring a safe, reliable, locally controlled water supply – essential for livable communities, healthy environments, robust economies and a high quality of life.”

EPA Action Plan to Boost Water Reuse Across U.S.

The U.S. EPA released a draft National Water Reuse Action Plan on September 10, 2019 in San Diego. Graphic: EPA

San Diego County agencies developing water reuse and recycling

In San Diego County, several agencies are developing or expanding water recycling plans, including the City of San DiegoPadre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, the City of Oceanside, and several additional projects in North County.

Padre Dam Demonstration Facility-Padre Dam MWD photo

Padre Dam’s demonstration project is evaluating the feasibility of the East County Advanced Water Purification Program. Since March 2015, the pilot program has produced approximately 100,000 gallons of purified water each day. Photo: Padre Dam MWD

“California is widely recognized as a national and world leader in water recycling,” according to the California WateReuse Action Plan, released in July 2019. “Recycled water supplies offset approximately 9% of the state’s urban water demands and agricultural reuse provides reliable water supplies for farmers throughout the state.”

In July, the Water Authority Board endorsed Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-10-19, directing development of a water resilience portfolio approach that meets the needs of California through the 21st century.

On July 18, state officials toured San Diego County water infrastructure to see the region’s successful water portfolio approach for supply diversification, as they work to create the statewide water resilience portfolio.

EPA Action Plan to Boost Water Reuse Across U.S.

The EPA Draft National Water Reuse Action Plan cites examples from California water agencies. Graphic: EPA

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Logo landscape design workshops

Celebrate Coastal Cleanup Day at Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve on September 21

Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District has teamed up with I Love a Clean San Diego for California Coastal Cleanup Day 2019 to protect habitat at Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. Volunteers are invited to assist OMWD rangers in removing trash and debris from Escondido Creek on September 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


Cool Davis: Residential Graywater For Outdoor Irrigation

Residential graywater offers up a huge potential for our city to offset potable water use. When the next drought rolls around, and it will, we could be sitting pretty with healthy trees and landscapes using less water from the Sierra than we do now.

How could we accomplish this? The answer is graywater, defined in California as the discharge from laundry wash water, showers, and bathroom sinks.

Los Angeles Says “Yes” To The Cheapest Solar Plus Storage In The USA

Yesterday, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a power purchase agreement (PPA) with 8minute Solar Energy for a solar power plus energy storage facility located in Kern County, California. Now that the LADWP commission has approved the project, it will move to a vote with the Los Angeles City Council before it can be delivered to the Mayor’s desk for a final signature. The project’s guaranteed commercial operation date is December 31, 2023 – about 12 years after it was initially filed in early 2012.

Legislature Approves Dodd’s Plan For Water Management

The state legislature has approved a proposal from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, aimed at helping the state manage its water.

“Stream gages provide important information in this era of droughts and flooding, driven in part by climate change,” Dodd said. “This bill is an important step toward managing our water for the long run. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”


Chevron Faces New Demands From Regulators As Kern County Oil Releases Continue

After months of back and forth with Chevron over a series of uncontrolled crude petroleum releases in a Kern County oil field, state regulators are demanding new information about its operations in the spill area.

California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, or DOGGR, issued a formal directive to the San Ramon-based company Tuesday, requiring the firm to provide a wealth of technical data on its petroleum extraction practices in the Cymric oil field.

Effort To Preserve Coastal Smokestack Gets Cold Shoulder From Commission

A proposal to save Carlsbad’s 400-foot-tall coastal smokestack found little support Monday when presented to the city’s Historical Preservation Commission.

“It’s interesting that people want to save something that we have been fighting for years to remove,” said Commissioner Laurie Boone. “We are going to work with (the power company) NRG to build something beautiful and new there.”

A proposal to save Carlsbad’s 400-foot-tall coastal smokestack found little support Monday when presented to the city’s Historical Preservation Commission.

“It’s interesting that people want to save something that we have been fighting for years to remove,” said Commissioner Laurie Boone. “We are going to work with (the power company) NRG to build something beautiful and new there.”

Another Day, Another Labor Wrench in City Plans

Just a few days after it was revealed that emergency state legislation is being prepared to save the city’s massive Pure Water project from being derailed over a fight over union-friendly agreements, it looks like similar labor fights could upend local cities’ plans to form a government-run energy utility.


City Council Unanimously Approves Plan To Increase Mission Valley’s Housing By 28,000 Units

The San Diego City Council Tuesday unanimously approved an update to the Mission Valley Community Plan that calls for increased mixed-use development that is pedestrian-friendly and helps residents make better use of public transit.

The update will be applied to the original community plan, which the council first approved in 1985 and has amended more than 20 times since. According to city officials, the update was necessitated to plan for future growth in the area and bring the Mission Valley plan into compliance with the city’s current General Plan and its Climate Action Plan.

Los Angeles OKs A Deal For Record-Cheap Solar Power And Battery Storage

For a long time, there were two big knocks against solar power: It’s expensive, and it can’t keep the lights on after sundown.

A contract approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power shows how much that reality has changed.

Under the 25-year deal with developer 8minute Solar Energy, the city would buy electricity from a sprawling complex of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries in the Mojave Desert of eastern Kern County, about two hours north of Los Angeles. The Eland project would meet 6% to 7% of L.A.’s annual electricity needs and would be capable of pumping clean energy into the grid for four hours each night.