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24 Area Water Agencies to Collect Over $90M

Two dozen members of the San Diego County Water Authority, a wholesale water supplier in the county, will be collecting more than $10 million as part of a successful litigation against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

A total of $90.7 million has now been collected by water agencies from Carlsbad to Yuima in Pauma Valley through the SDCWA’s successful rate litigation.

Wastewater Recycling Made Sewage Valuable. Now East County and San Diego Are Fighting Over It.

The city of San Diego pursued its massive wastewater-to-drinking water recycling program, in part, because the federal government said it had to. Millions of gallons of undertreated sewage enters the Pacific Ocean through the city’s aging Point Loma treatment plant on the regular; Pure Water is the region’s first step toward a solution.

But now, a bloc of eastern San Diego County water agencies is building their own recycling project because, they say, the cost of buying imported water from the drought-ravaged Colorado River is unsustainable.

San Diego Offers $33M Olive Branch in Pipeline Dispute With East County Water Recycling Project

San Diego’s top brass offered on Thursday to pony up more than $33 million to resolve a hotly disputed pipeline deal between the city and East County concerning two large water recycling projects.

The move comes as the parties inch closer to what could become a protracted legal battle, with serious implications for the East County Advanced Water Purification Project and the city’s massive $5 billion Pure Water sewage recycling venture.

East County’s $950M Water Recycling Project Could be in Jeopardy as San Diego Nixes Pipeline Deal

East County officials fear a $950 million sewage recycling project could get flushed down the drain because of a pipeline deal gone awry.

Leaders spearheading the endeavor blame San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria — who signed off on building an eight-mile “brine line” as recently as last year but has since reneged on that commitment.

The pipeline would prevent concentrated waste generated by the East County project’s reverse osmosis filtration system from entering into the city’s own $5 billion Pure Water sewage recycling project now under construction. Instead the byproduct would be routed into the city’s larger wastewater system.

Construction of Sewage Recycling Pipeline Expected to Disrupt Neighborhoods This Summer, Fall

Neighborhoods across northern San Diego will be disrupted by tunneling and pipeline construction this summer when work kicks into high gear on Pure Water, the largest infrastructure project in city history.

With contracts totaling more than $1 billion recently awarded for eight of the 10 major projects that make up Pure Water’s first phase, city officials say nearly the entire project will be under construction starting in late summer or early fall.

Pure Water San Diego Phase 1 Construction in North City Area

Construction work is underway in several areas of San Diego, building major infrastructure projects for Phase 1 of Pure Water San Diego.

Pipelines, pump stations, and treatment facilities are all being built in the Morena, Bay Park, Clairemont, University City, Miramar, and Scripps Ranch communities. It is a milestone toward the realization of securing a local, drought-resilient water supply for San Diegans for generations to come.

Phase I Construction-Construction of major water infrastructure for Phase 1 of Pure Water San Diego including pipelines, pump stations and treatment facilities is now taking place in the Morena, Bay Park, Clairemont, University City, Miramar and Scripps Ranch communities. Construction affects

Pure Water San Diego Phase 1 Construction in North City Area

Construction work is underway in several areas of San Diego, building major infrastructure projects for Phase 1 of Pure Water San Diego.

Phase 1 of Pure Water San Diego, including pipelines, pump stations, and treatment facilities, has started in Morena, Bay Park, Clairemont, University City, Miramar, and Scripps Ranch communities. It is a milestone toward the realization of securing a local, drought-resilient water supply for San Diegans for generations to come.

Nearly 50% of San Diego’s water supply

Pure Water is the City of San Diego’s largest-ever infrastructure program that will provide nearly half of San Diego’s water supply by 2035. Pure Water will use purification technology to clean recycled wastewater and is a cost-effective investment for San Diego’s water supply needs.

Residents, businesses, and commuters may be impacted by road closures, detours, and construction noise during construction. Construction for this project will primarily take place on weeknights from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., except on Nobel Drive, when construction will take place on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tunneling work will be done around the clock with adherence to noise requirements.

Pure Water project will reduce dependence on imported water

“Potholing” is underground work that finds the location and depth of existing utilities in the public right-of-way. Potholing is currently being done for the Morena Northern Pipeline & Tunnels and the North City Pure Water San Diego Pipeline projects. Photo: City of San Diego Construction affects

“Potholing” is underground work that finds the location and depth of existing utilities in the public right-of-way. Potholing is currently being done for the Morena Northern Pipeline & Tunnels and the North City Pure Water San Diego Pipeline projects. Photo: City of San Diego

Upon its completion, Pure Water San Diego will contribute 30 million gallons per day of high-quality purified water, reducing the City’s dependence on imported water.

The Morena Northern Pipelines and Tunnels project now underway will connect to the Morena Pipelines Middle Alignment to the south and the North City Water Reclamation Plant to the north.

Water pipelines

This project includes portions of two 10.5-mile pipelines: one 48-inch wastewater pipeline, which will carry wastewater north to the North City facilities for purification, and one 30-inch brine line that will carry the byproduct from water purification south to the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

This project begins on Genesee Avenue and Appleton Street and continues on Genesee Avenue, Nobel Drive, Towne Centre Drive, and Executive Drive. Tunneling will be completed at Genesee Avenue and State Route 52 (San Clemente Creek), at Genesee Avenue and Rose Creek Canyon, and under Interstate 805.

Securing San Diego’s sustainable water future

This project begins on Genesee Avenue and Appleton Street and continues on Genesee Avenue, Nobel Drive, Towne Centre Drive, and Executive Drive. Tunneling will be completed at Genesee Avenue and State Route 52 (San Clemente Creek), at Genesee Avenue and Rose Creek Canyon, and under Interstate 805. Map: City of San Diego

Currently, the City of San Diego depends primarily on a reliable imported water supply to deliver clean and safe drinking water to its communities. The investment in advanced water purification with the construction of Pure Water San Diego will help secure a high-quality, safe, local, and drought-proof water supply for the future. Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed and commence operation in 2024. Pure Water San Diego will eventually provide nearly half of San Diego’s water supply locally by 2035 with the completion of Phase 2.

Purified water produced at the completed plant will be delivered to the Miramar Reservoir, blended with the City of San Diego’s imported and local water sources, and treated again at the existing Miramar Water Treatment Plant. After this process, the water will be distributed to customers.

You can take a virtual tour of Pure Water San Diego’s demonstration facility at virtualtour.purewatersd.org More information about the Program can be found at www.purewatersd.org.

(Editor’s Note: The City of San Diego is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Water News Network Top Stories of 2021

The Water News Network top stories of 2021 highlight how the region’s water providers ensured a safe, plentiful and reliable water supply, while also looking to the future. In the second year of a statewide drought, San Diegans stepped up their water conservation, proving once again, that “water conservation is a way of life in San Diego County.”

National University's new four-year degree program will help water and wastewater employees advance in their careers. Photo: John Chacon, California Department of Water Resources John Chacon / California Department of Water Resources,

Water News Network Top Stories of 2021

The Water News Network top stories of 2021 highlight how the region’s water providers ensured a safe, plentiful and reliable water supply, while also looking to the future. And, in the second year of a statewide drought, San Diegans stepped up their water conservation, proving once again, that “water conservation is a way of life in San Diego County.”

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and drought, the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies moved forward on infrastructure projects to increase and maintain local water supply and energy sources for the region.

Potable, or water reuse projects, are online or under construction by the City of San Diego, City of Oceanside and the East County Advanced Water Purification Project, a collaborative effort between the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, the City of El Cajon and the County of San Diego.

Job training for water and wastewater industry

The #1 story of 2021 on the Water News Network was about an academic program that seeks to meet the rapidly growing demands for skilled career professionals in the water and wastewater industry. National University and Cuyamaca College launched a new degree pathway program that started in February 2021.

“Responding to regional workforce needs, National University and Cuyamaca College are excited to roll out the Waterworks Management academic pathway, informed by industry leaders,” said Dr. Sara Kelly, academic program director at National University. Transfer scholarships are available for qualifying students.

Top Stories of 2021

Driven by the rapidly growing demands for skilled career professionals in the water and wastewater industry, National University and Cuyamaca College launched a new degree pathway program in February 2021.

Top stories of 2021

The #2 most viewed story on the Water News Network in 2021 … was a story published late in 2020: FRS II: Mission Trails Water Project Takes Shape (December 16, 2020).

WNN stories about water reuse projects by the City of San Diego, City of Oceanside and the East County AWP, were among the most viewed in 2021.

Pure Water Oceanside

The third most-viewed story on Water News Network in 2021: Pure Water Oceanside Project Reaches Milestones

East County AWP

In a major milestone for water reliability, the East County AWP was awarded a $388 million federal loan from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help advance the project’s completion.

EPA Funding-East County AWP-Padre Dam MWD

An EPA loan will help fund completion of the East County AWP. The loan was announced June 4 at the East County AWP demonstration facility in Santee. (L to R) Kathleen Hedberg, Helix Water District; Doug Wilson, Padre Dam Municipal Water District; Steve Goble, East County AWP and City of El Cajon; Radhika Fox, U.S. EPA; and Jim Peasley, Bill Pommering, Augie Caires, and Allen Carlisle, Padre Dam Municipal Water District and Jack Shu, City of La Mesa. Photo: East County AWP

Pure Water San Diego

Pure Water San Diego is the City of San Diego’s phased, multi-year program that will provide more than 40% of San Diego’s water supply locally by the end of 2035. The Pure Water San Diego Program will use proven water purification technology to clean recycled water to produce safe, high-quality drinking water. The Program offers a cost-effective investment for San Diego’s water needs and will provide a reliable, sustainable water supply.

Sierra snowpack increases, drought continues

As part of a voluntary water conservation reduction requested by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, water agencies increased outreach efforts to encourage residents to reduce water-wasting practices. Rebates and programs to spur water conservation will continue into 2022. While the San Diego region has sufficient supplies to weather the current drought due to investments and conservation by residents and water agencies, many areas of the state are facing dire supply issues.

Snowpack conditions-December 2021-drought-Sierra Nevada-snow

December storms brought snow to the Sierra Nevada and rainfall throughout the state. While one month of storms will not end the current drought, the amount of precipitation, so far, is a welcome start to easing dry times in the Golden State.

Top Stories of 2021: Water news stories by national and regional reporters

Spectrum News 1 LA, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CBS 8, NBC7, ABC7 and other reporting in 2021 focused on the investments and conservation efforts that ensured a plentiful water supply in the San Diego County region.

New York Times-Top Stories of 2021-Water Supply

New York Times Reporter Jill Cowan reported in 2021 on the water conservation and supply efforts by the San Diego County Water Authority, its 24 member agencies and the residents of the county. Photo: New York Times website

Water News Network Top Stories of 2020

(Editor’s note: The Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the Helix Water District, the City of San Diego, the City of El Cajon, and the City of Oceanside, are five of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Oceanside Wastewater Treatment Plant Preparing to Open

San Diego County has been planning ways to increase its sustainable water supply and one of the planned methods is through turning wastewater into potable water. There are three sites planned in the county and the first one, Pure Water Oceanside, is set to open before the end of 2021.

Pure Water Oceanside should begin operations mid-December and initially will help produce 30% of Oceanside’s water supply. The city has a goal of creating 50% of the water supply locally by 2030, and this facility will help make that happen.