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During today’s ceremony, city leaders and water experts placed a giant Google Maps “location pin” into the ground at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility, which marked that the new recycled water project is now officially on the map. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

First Advanced Water Purification Facility in San Diego County is On the Map

City of Oceanside officials and regional water industry leaders gathered today to break ground on Pure Water Oceanside, the first advanced water purification facility in San Diego County. The $67 million project – scheduled to be completed in 2021 – will purify recycled water sourced from the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility.

“Today, we put Pure Water Oceanside on the map and are one step closer to achieving the goal of greater water-independence for our city, residents and businesses,” said Cari Dale, Oceanside’s water utilities director. “This future-focused project will provide multiple benefits by reusing our water resources to their full potential.”

Reducing dependence on imported supplies

The local project will reduce Oceanside’s dependence on imported water by more than 30%. The purification process is inspired by the natural water cycle and reduces the amount of recycled water discharged into the ocean.

The project is partially funded by the Local Resources Program through the San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

“The tremendous conservation focus, water infrastructure planning and investment by the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies has put our regional supplies in solid standing,” said Water Authority General Manager Sandra L. Kerl. “The mission of providing reliable water supplies to San Diego County can be likened to a puzzle; there are many pieces that fit together to create an overall solution. Our next increment of supply in the San Diego region is from potable reuse projects.”

Improving local resources in a sustainable way

During today’s ceremony, city leaders and water experts placed a giant Google Maps “location pin” into the ground at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility, which marked that the new recycled water project is now officially on the map. Guests were invited to take tours of the existing facility to see the location of the new infrastructure and learn how purification technology works.

“Being on the map signifies not only that this project will be an historic landmark, but also a symbolic one that will serve as an example for other cities and agencies that are interested in initiating this type of program,” said Jack Simes, acting area manager at the United States Bureau of Reclamation.

Pure Water Oceanside Groundbreaking-February 2020-Water News Network-SDCWA

Construction is underway on the $67 million Pure Water Oceanside project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

In addition to reducing dependence on imported water supplies, the project will improve groundwater resources and help protect the environment by reducing dependency on imported supplies that can disrupt ecosystems.

“We need to pursue new and innovative solutions to protect our land and water for future generations,” said Congressman Mike Levin, whose district includes coastal North County. “Pure Water’s commitment to providing over 30% of the drinking water in the City of Oceanside in a way that is clean, safe, sustainable and environmentally sound is commendable.”

Technologically advanced water purification process

Pure Water Oceanside will use state-of-the-art water purification technology that replicates and accelerates nature’s natural recycling process.

First microfiltration filters remove bacteria and suspended solids from reclaimed water. Then ultra-fine reverse osmosis filters remove salt, viruses, other bacteria, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Next, the water is treated with ultraviolet light and advanced oxidation technologies that neutralize any remaining substances.

Minerals are injected back into the water before the water is added to Mission Basin in Oceanside. Water can then be extracted from the aquifer, treated once again at the Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility and finally, distributed to residents and businesses.

Oceanside Breaks Ground on Advanced Water Purification Plant

OCEANSIDE (KUSI) – Oceanside officials broke ground Wednesday on Pure Water Oceanside, a recycled-water purification plant billed as the first of its kind in the county.

The $67 million project will take water from Oceanside’s San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility and purify it to drinking water standards in a way project proponents describe as “clean, safe, drought-proof and environmentally sound.”

The site’s technology will be used to replicate and accelerate the natural recycling process to provide 3 million to 5 million gallons of fresh water a day, more than 32% of Oceanside’s water supply.

Trump OKs More California Water for Valley Farmers. Gavin Newsom Promises to Sue

Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a preemptive strike against President Donald Trump, said Wednesday he plans to sue Trump’s administration to block a controversial plan to increase water deliveries to the San Joaquin Valley.

Newsom’s office said he “will file legal action in the coming days … to protect highly imperiled fish species close to extinction.”

The announcement came just minutes before Trump appeared in Bakersfield to announce he’s finalized an order removing regulatory roadblocks and enabling the giant Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta pumps to deliver additional water to the southern half of the state.

Oceanside Breaks Ground on Water Recycling Project

The city of Oceanside broke ground Wednesday on a water recycling facility that it says will eventually provide 32%, or one-third, the city’s drinkable water supply.

City and state leaders were at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility to unveil the plan and discuss the benefits for the city. Oceanside says it needs this facility because the cost of importing water from hundreds of miles away is too expensive. Also, a local aquifer is running out of water.

California Farm Bureau Federation Will Fight ‘Split-Roll’ Ballot Measure

The state’s largest agricultural organization will oppose a proposed “split-roll” ballot measure that would increase commercial property taxes, saying it will cost farmers and consumers billions by mandating costly reassessments for California barns, wineries and processing plants.

Jamie Johansson, president of the 34,000-member California Farm Bureau Federation, said in an interview that it was highly unusual for his organization to oppose a ballot measure at this early stage, “but our board of directors is very concerned about the impact this initiative would have on rural California.”

New Project to Tackle Puget Sound’s Growing Polluted Stormwater

Local researchers say at least 14 to 94 million pounds of contaminants like oil, grease and toxic metals get mixed with stormwater in Puget Sound every year. Now a new public-private partnership is tackling the growing problem.

The runoff from the Aurora Bridge is the target for a new project. Nonprofits like The Nature Conservancy are working together with local companies like Stephen C. Grey & Associates and Boeing to address the issue. Even the Washington State Legislature approved $500,00 to help with this project.

Sierra Snowpack Withering in California’s Dry Winter. New Satellite Image Shows the Bad News

The image is disturbing and leaves little doubt about California’s growing predicament: The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is a sad whisper of it was a year ago, a withering testament to the lack of precipitation in the state’s increasingly dry winter.

The National Weather Service tweeted satellite images of the Sierra on Tuesday, showing the stark difference between this year and the above-average snowfall from 2019. The mountain snowpack — a crucial element in the state’s annual water supply — is 53 percent of normal for this time of year, according to the Department of Water Resources.

Driven by Climate Change, Desalination Researchers Seek Solutions to Water Scarcity

The state of California has dedicated $34 million for eight desalination facilities across the state amid growing concerns about water scarcity in the U.S.

Desalination is when saltwater is converted into freshwater. Though 71% of the Earth is made up of water, extreme weather linked to climate change is adding to concerns about water scarcity.

Scientists estimate that by 2071, nearly half of the 204 freshwater basins in the U.S. may not be able to meet the monthly demand for water, according to a study published in the journal Earth’s Future.

Extracting salt from water seems like an easy fix to a global problem, but the process of desalination can be expensive, and it can also have a huge impact on the environment. That’s why some researchers are looking into how to lower the cost and improve efficiency.

Desalination technology can cost anywhere between two to 10 times the cost of traditional freshwater sources, says Meagan Mauter, research director for the National Alliance for Water Innovation and an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University.

Trump’s Signature Could Mean More Water for Valley

More water will flow toward San Joaquin Valley farmers, President Donald Trump declared at an event in Bakersfield on Wednesday afternoon.

Trump announced the completion of biological opinions that will increase water allocations in Californians.

“A major obstacle to providing more water for the region’s farmers has now been totally eliminated by the government,” Trump said.

On Eve of Trump Visit, Critics Ask Why Newsom Hasn’t Fought President’s Water Moves

During President Trump’s visit to California this week, the commander in chief who campaigned on a pledge of shipping more water to Central Valley farms plans to stop in Bakersfield to boast about a promise kept.

His administration has succeeded in rolling back protections for fish in California, opening the door to more pumping from rivers and streams, and more irrigation deliveries for the state’s vast agricultural economy.

The endeavor is no surprise for a president who has been supportive of industry and hopes to rally rural voters behind his re-election bid. But what confounds some who are worried that Trump’s water plan could undermine the environment is how little the state has done to stop Washington.