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San Diego’s Landmark Water Recycling Project May Face Longer Delays Than Expected

San Diego’s long-awaited Pure Water project, a sewage recycling system that would boost the city’s water independence, is facing legal challenges that could last longer and cost more than city officials previously anticipated.

San Diego Suing SDG&E for $35 Million Over Unpaid Undergrounding Expenses

The city is suing San Diego Gas & Electric for what officials call the utility’s refusal to honor promises made when it obtained exclusive rights to provide gas and electricity to San Diegans in 1971.

As the city moves forward with its Pure Water San Diego Program, which will reduce ocean pollution and increase San Diego’s water supply, SDG&E has failed to relocate at its own expense its underground infrastructure that obstructs the city project, which it is required to do under the terms of its contract with the city, said City Attorney Mara Elliott, who made the announcement Wednesday.
In June 2018, the city says, SDG&E refused to undertake design and relocation work for Phase 1 of the program unless the city fronted the money.

“It’s unfortunate that a lawsuit is needed to compel our longtime partner to honor the terms of its contract with the city,” Elliott said. “Pure Water is critical to protecting the ocean from pollution and increasing our water independence. This program cannot be compromised by further delays.”

SDG&E communications manager Wes Jones said: “While we generally do not comment on pending litigation, broadly speaking, SDG&E does not believe the relocation costs of this City of San Diego water project should be spread to customers in the other cities within our service area. We look forward to resolving this matter as quickly as possible.”

Why San Diego Farmers Worry About Water

Valley Center farmers aren’t alone when it comes to the high cost of water. But it could get lonelier and costlier if two neighboring water districts unyoke from the Water Authority to get a fresh start in Riverside.

In December, the boards of the Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District voted to begin detachment from the San Diego County Water Authority in order to join Riverside’s Eastern Municipal Water District.

Will those left behind pay more as others tap new supplies? Questions are flying in Valley Center, where farms are the main customers, even as avocado turf keeps shrinking

Opinion: Drink More Recycled Wastewater

Drinkable water is becoming increasingly scarce. Population growth, pollution and climate change mean that more cities are being forced to search for unconventional water sources. In a growing number of places, drinking highly treated municipal wastewater, called ‘reused water’, has become the best option — and, in some cases, the only one (see ‘What is reused water?’).

our hundred community members took tours of the five-step water purification process at the Demonstration Facilities. Photo: City of San Diego

Awards Recognize Water Agency Outreach and Education Efforts

The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recognized the San Diego County Water Authority and three regional member water agencies for exceptional work in public outreach and education efforts at its annual Bernays Awards ceremonies on Nov. 7.

The initiatives are designed to inform stakeholders and ratepayers about initiatives ensuring a safe and reliable water supply.

Water agency outreach and communication programs supporting the region’s projects using proven water purification technology to purify recycled water to create new local sources of high-quality drinking water won multiple honors.

The Water Authority’s informative “Brought To You By Water” video series, highlighting the importance of water reliability to the region’s economy, also won recognition.

Visitors learn about technology used to purify and recycle water at Pure Water Oceanside open house outreach events. Photo: City of Oceanside Water agency outreach

Visitors learn about the technology used to purify and recycle water at Pure Water Oceanside open house outreach events. Photo: City of Oceanside

The City of Oceanside won in three categories for Pure Water Oceanside:

Bronze Award of Excellence, Research/Evaluation

“Research Makes a Difference.” Pure Water Oceanside, City of Oceanside, and NV5 Inc.

Bronze Award of Excellence, Community Relations, Nonprofit/Government/Association

Pure Water Oceanside, City of Oceanside, and NV5 Inc.

Silver Award of Merit, Events, and Observances (7 days or fewer, Nonprofit/Government/Association)

“Pure Water Oceanside – World of Water,” City of Oceanside and NV5 Inc.

“Providing our water customers with quality and creative communications is a cornerstone of our transparency efforts,” said Cari Dale, water utilities director for the City of Oceanside. “By being recognized by PRSA for our passion, creativity and innovative methods to communicate about Pure Water Oceanside – a program that will provide a new, local source of high-quality drinking water as soon as 2021 – our public outreach work is validated in bringing such an important and beneficial project to Oceanside.”

Visitors to the East County Water Festival on Sept. 8 can t, tour the East County Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility. Photo: Courtesy Padre Dam MWDVisitors to the East County Water Festival on Sept. 8 tour the East County Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility. Photo: Courtesy Padre Dam MWD

The East County Advanced Water Purification Program, which includes the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, City of El Cajon, County of San Diego, won with NV5 in two categories for its East County Water Festival. It received an Award of Excellence in the Creative Tactics category and was also named a “Best of Show” winner among all Bronze entries.

“As a public entity of the communities we serve, it is imperative that we communicate effectively the benefit and need of key water projects,” said Melissa McChesney, communications manager for the Padre Dam Municipal Water District. “Our outreach team has done an outstanding job sharing with our communities the importance of the East County Advanced Water Purification Project. I am thrilled to see this essential work recognized by PRSA.”

Attendees enjoyed a variety of family-friendly activities at the third annual Pure Water Day. Photo: City of San Diego

Attendees enjoyed a variety of family-friendly activities at the third annual Pure Water Day. Photo: City of San Diego

The City of San Diego won a Bronze Award of Excellence for its Community Outreach in the Nonprofit/Government/Association category for its work on behalf of Pure Water San Diego’s Phase 1.

“The City of San Diego and Katz & Associates were pleased to have Pure Water San Diego’s community outreach efforts recognized by PRSA,” said Amy Dorman, deputy director, Pure Water Operations. “The Pure Water San Diego team formed community-specific working groups to gather informed feedback on how to avoid or minimize construction impacts from future Pure Water pipelines.”

The Water Authority’s regional outreach and education program, “Brought to You by Water,” was recognized with several awards.

The B2UbyH2O program was designed to expand Water Authority relationships and help stakeholders across the region recognize the critical value of safe and reliable water supplies for our economy and quality of life.

The program won Bronze Bernays Awards in the Video/Video Program and Creative Tactics categories for a series of videos featuring local leaders discussing the importance of water to their business or industry.

The series also won Silver Bernays awards in the Public Service category and the Reputation/Brand Management category.

Denise Vedder, director of the Water Authority Public Outreach and Conservation Department, was honored as the Public Relations Professional of the Year for the PRSA San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter. The honor is presented each year to a public relations practitioner who shows dedication to bettering the public relations field through innovative thinking and successful planning.

Past winners include Diana Lucero, director of marketing and public relations, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and Chris Wahl, president, Southwest Strategies.

Visitors learn about technology used to purify and recycle water at a recent Pure Water Oceanside open house. Photo: City of Oceanside

Pure Water Oceanside Project Construction Slated For 2020

The City of Oceanside is joining the City of San Diego and East San Diego County in adding advanced purified water to its drinking water supply. The Pure Water Oceanside project is expected to break ground next spring and begin producing advanced purified water in 2022.

The Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District and the City of San Diego, are among the water agencies in San Diego County that are developing or expanding water recycling to increase the local water supply.

Pure Water Oceanside tour participants can try filtering water as part of the tour experience. Photo: City of Oceanside

People can try filtering water as part of Pure Water Oceanside tour activities. Photo: City of Oceanside

The Oceanside project launched in March with a “World of Water” community open house attended by more than 400 people. Building on the interest generated at the event, the city opened its doors for the public, schools and scouts to experience Pure Water Oceanside on October 15. The next community event is scheduled for November 9.

“The incredible interest, success and feedback from the community event demonstrated a true thirst for water knowledge and a strong desire to see, first-hand, water facilities located in the community,” said Cari Dale, water utilities director for the City of Oceanside. “Pure Water Oceanside is an important and smart investment and we find tremendous value in educating the public about the importance of diversifying the city’s water supply.”

Technology used to recycle and purify water on display

Water membranes like the ones that will be used as part of the Pure Water Oceanside project are on display during public tours. Photo: City of Oceanside

Water membranes like the ones that will be used as part of the Pure Water Oceanside project are on display during public tours. Photo: City of Oceanside

The tours offer a behind-the-scenes look of the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation and Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facilities, where guests can take a hands-on approach and learn about the technology used to recycle and purify water.

Pure Water Oceanside will purify recycled water to create a new local source of high-quality drinking water that is clean, safe, drought-proof and environmentally sound. The project will produce enough water to provide 32% of the city’s water supply, or between 3 and 5 million gallons of water per day.

In addition to tours, Oceanside has developed a comprehensive public education program for the water purification project, including a video, fact sheet, FAQ and community group presentations. To experience Pure Water Oceanside and sign up for an upcoming tour, go to: www.PureWaterOceanside.org.

READ MORE: Pure Water Day Delivers Pure Family Fun

 

Proposed Clairemont Dr Restriping for Bike Lane & Potential Southbound Vehicle Lane Removal

On Thursday 9/26 the Parking, Transportation & Mobility sub-committee of the Clairemont Community Planning Group met with one item Action/Review item on the Agenda:

  1. Clairemont Dr. Bike Lane Striping (Everett Hauser, City of San Diego)

In conjunction with the City’s Pure Water Project, Mr Hauser will present 3 different options to remove between 5 to 31 street parking spaces along Clairemont Dr. to add striping for a Bike Lane in each direction of travel.

Amy Dorman, Deputy Director, Pure Water Operations, is pictured accepting the award for the City of San Diego. Photo: City of San Diego Utility of the Future Today

San Diego Public Utilities Department Honored for Sustainability

The City of San Diego Public Utilities Department has been recognized as a “Utility of the Future Today” for its outreach efforts for the Pure Water San Diego Program.

The honor was bestowed today by a partnership of water sector organizations, including the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Water Environment Federation, the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, the WateReuse Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The program recognizes the achievements of water utilities that transform from the traditional wastewater treatment system to a resource recovery center and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience of the communities they serve.

Pure Water Program ‘a national model’

“Being named a Utility of the Future Today further demonstrates the City’s commitment to producing a sustainable water supply for our citizens,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “The Pure Water Program is a national model for finding an innovative solution to our water needs.”

The City received the award at the Water Environment Federation’s 92nd annual Technical Exhibition and Conference held in Chicago from Sept. 21-25. The San Diego Public Utilities Department was previously honored as a Utility of the Future Today in 2016 for its efforts in community engagement and water reuse.

Forward-thinking, innovative water utilities

“We take pride in our work and are very honored to receive this recognition,” said San Diego Public Utilities Department Director Shauna Lorance. “We strive to provide the very best service to our customers, and that includes planning for the future.”

The Utility of the Future Today concept was first introduced in 2013. It celebrates the achievements of forward-thinking, innovative water utilities that are providing resilient, value-added service to communities, particularly in community engagement, watershed stewardship and recovery of resources such as water, energy and nutrients.

Pure Water San Diego is the City’s phased, multi-year program that will provide one-third of San Diego’s water supply locally by 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.

San Diego Public Utilities Department Honored For Sustainability

The City of San Diego Public Utilities Department has been recognized as a “Utility of the Future Today” for its outreach efforts for the Pure Water San Diego Program.

The honor was bestowed today by a partnership of water sector organizations, including the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Water Environment Federation, the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, the WateReuse Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Symposium attendees enjoy hot- and cold-brewed coffee made by locally-owned Bird Rock Coffee Roasters using purified recycled water at the at the 34th annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego. Photo City of San Diego

WateReuse Symposium Showcases City of San Diego’s Pure Water

Locally-roasted coffee and home brewed beer made with purified recycled water from the City of San Diego’s Pure Water Demonstration Facility was showcased Sept. 10 in San Diego during two special events at the 34th annual WateReuse Symposium.

Pure Water San Diego presented two events featuring beverages made with a key ingredient: purified recycled water.

Coffee and beer made with purified recycled water

WateReuse symposium attendees judged a “Pure Brew” competition among members of San Diego’s Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity (QUAFF). Photo: City of San Diego

WateReuse Association Symposium attendees judged a “Pure Brew” competition among members of San Diego’s Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity. Photo: City of San Diego

In the afternoon, symposium attendees were served hot- and cold-brewed coffee made by locally-owned Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. In the evening, a symposium reception featured a “Pure Brew” competition where attendees judged the best of 10 home brewed beers from members of San Diego’s Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity.

Pure Water San Diego is the City’s phased, multi-year program that will provide one-third of San Diego’s water supply locally by 2035 by purifying 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 and sustainable water supply.

The WateReuse Symposium, the nation’s premier conference on recycled water, was held in San Diego Sept. 8-11. This year’s theme was “Collaborate to Innovate.” Approximately 800 water professionals from across the nation attended the symposium over the four days.

READ MORE: Pure Water Day Delivers Pure Family Fun