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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.”

Sweetwater Authority Eyes Recycled Water That Otay Water District Doesn’t Use

Sweetwater Authority’s governing board has its eyes on recycled water — specifically, an excess of recycled water that a neighboring water agency, the Otay Water District, buys from the city of San Diego.

The governing boards of the two water agencies, which combined serve southern and eastern San Diego County, recently created a joint committee to explore a potential arrangement that would allow
Sweetwater to purchase recycled water from Otay.

The board presidents of both water agencies said the idea could benefit customers on both ends.

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

Award-Winning Student Artwork Inspires 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

The City of San Diego’s colorful 2020 Water Conservation Calendar features winning artwork from 19 students throughout San Diego.

This is the 20th year the calendar has been produced by the City’s Public Utilities Department. The theme was water conservation.

“The children’s artwork in these calendars is fantastic, and helps present the importance of reducing water use,” said Shauna Lorance, director of the Public Utilities Department. “I encourage San Diegans to pick up a calendar and learn about water conservation all year.”

More than 100 San Diego children entered the 2020 Water Conservation Calendar Kids’ Poster Contest.

Second-grade student Isabella Chen of Solana Ranch Elementary School in Carmel Valley is a two-time winner. She placed second in 2019 as a first-grader, and is the first place winner for her grade this year.

There were five winners from Solana Ranch Elementary, the most for any single school.

The complete list of winning student artists:

First Place winner, First Grade: Sophia Shuwen Hu, Monterey Ridge Elementary, 4S Ranch 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

First Place winner, First Grade: Sophia Shuwen Hu, Monterey Ridge Elementary, 4S Ranch

First Grade  

  • First Place: Sophia Shuwen Hu, Monterey Ridge Elementary, 4S Ranch
  • Second Place: Victoria Wang, Canyon View Elementary, Rancho Bernardo
  • Third Place: Isabella Yang, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley
First Place, Second Grade: Isabella Chen, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

First Place winner, Second Grade: Isabella Chen, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley

Second Grade         

  • First Place: Isabella Chen, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Second Place: Amber Liu, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Third Place: Kenzie Shaaban, Jerabek Elementary, Scripps Ranch
First Place, Third Grade: Derick Chi, Sage Canyon Elementary, Carmel Valley 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

First Place winner, Third Grade: Derick Chi, Sage Canyon Elementary, Carmel Valley

Third Grade 

  • First Place: Derick Chi, Sage Canyon Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Second Place: Claire Wang, Stone Ranch Elementary, 4S Ranch
  • Third Place: Rosabel Wang, Ocean Air Elementary, Carmel Valley
First Place winner, Fourth Grade: Veronica Yu, Del Mar Pines Elementary, Carmel Valley 2020 Water Conservation Calendar

First Place winner, Fourth Grade: Veronica Yu, Del Mar Pines Elementary, Carmel Valley

Fourth Grade          

  • First Place: Veronica Yu, Del Mar Pines Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Second Place: Katherine Chen, Monterey Ridge Elementary, 4S Ranch
  • Third Place: Alice Li, Monterey Ridge Elementary, 4S Ranch
First Place winner, Fifth Grade: Joshua Lee, Marie Curie Elementary, University City

First Place winner, Fifth Grade: Joshua Lee, Marie Curie Elementary, University City

Fifth Grade  

  • First Place: Joshua Lee, Marie Curie Elementary, University City
  • Second Place: Lily Saganich, Solana Pacific Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Third Place: Teodora Matic, Solana Pacific Elementary, Carmel Valley
First Place winner, Sixth Grade: Sarah Huang, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley

First Place winner, Sixth Grade: Sarah Huang, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley

Sixth Grade 

  • First Place: Sierra Huang, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Second Place: Patrick Jang, Solana Ranch Elementary, Carmel Valley
  • Third Place: Sarah Lehman, Muirlands Middle, La Jolla

Recycled Water Winner: Mia Banerjee, John Spreckels Elementary, University City (Third Grade)

Recycled Water Winner    

  • Mia Banerjee, John Spreckels Elementary, University City (Third Grade)

Copies of the 2020 Kids’ Poster Contest Calendar are available for free at all City of San Diego Public Library branches and Recreation Centers. For water conservation tips, rebates and other information, go to www.wastenowater.org.

Airport, Ballast Point Unveil Beer Using Reclaimed Water

San Diego International Airport recently partnered with Ballast Point to offer flights of a different variety.

Using water that was reclaimed through the airport’s water-conservation program, the local brewery created SAN Test Pilot, a Kolsh-style beer that is now on tap at Ballast Point’s San Diego locations.

 

Opinion: California Can Solve its Water Shortage With the Water We Have. Here’s How

California is at a water crossroads.

We can continue our costly, 100-year-old pattern of trying to find new water supplies, or we can choose instead to focus on smarter ways of using – and reusing – what we already have.

The cheapest water is the water we save.

Tijuana River Watershed and Imperial Beach. RE:BORDER 2019.

RE:BORDER 2019 Seeks Transborder Solutions For Water Issues

A two-day conference in San Diego and Tijuana seeks to forge regional solutions for cross-border water issues by breaking down academic, political and administrative boundaries.

The theme of RE:BORDER 2019 is “The Water We Share.” RE:BORDER is a new initiative from San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre that each year will examine a significant transborder issue of the California-Baja California border region in partnership with our Mexican university and community collaborators.

The binational conference kicks off at San Diego State University at 9 a.m. on November 25 and continues the next day at the Universidad Autónoma De Baja California (UABC) in Tijuana.

Water industry officials and elected leaders from the U.S. and Mexico will join university researchers for a series of panel discussions that explore how SDSU, UABC, and regional partners – including the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies – can contribute to innovative solutions for water-related challenges in the transborder region.

RE:BORDER 2019 at SDSU and UABC

RE:BORDER 2019 is a two-day conference in San Diego and Tijuana that seeks to forge regional solutions for cross-border water issues. Graphic: San Diego State University

Water knows no borders

“When we think about water in every dimension, whether it’s the ocean, to the rivers, to the creeks across the Tijuana River Watershed, there are no borders,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “The conference is a first step toward creating solutions that allow both countries to be collaborative and learn from each other.”

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer will deliver opening remarks at SDSU followed by a special presentation by San Diego County Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer. California State Water Resources Control Board Chair E. Joaquin Esquivel is scheduled to deliver the keynote address. State Senator Juan Vargas will close the first day of the conference.

“Water issues and challenges require collaboration on both sides of the border to reach solutions that transcend political boundaries,” said Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer. “The Water Authority and its 24 member agencies continue to develop local projects and explore opportunities that benefit the region, including Mexico and the Southwest.”

Tijuana River Watershed - RE:BORDER 2019 - San Diego

The Tijuana River Watershed covers 1,750 square miles – three-fourths lies in Mexico and includes the cities of Tijuana and Tecate. Graphic: USFWS/NOAA/California State Parks/Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

Cross border water challenges and solutions

Water reuse, access to a safe water supply, and the political and administrative boundaries in the transborder region are among the topics for discussion at SDSU.

Water Authority Assistant General Manager Dan Denham is one of several panelists who will explore transborder water challenges from the perspectives of regional stakeholders such as farmers, local and state agencies and environmental groups.

Elsa Saxod, a Water Authority board member representing the City of San Diego, will participate in a panel session that looks at the binational management of the Tijuana River Watershed.

Climate change and the transborder region

Topics for Day 2 of the conference in Tijuana include climate change, water security and risks, water and food, and water and equity.

The sessions will examine how the transborder region will be affected by climate change – including greater risks of floods, landslides and wildfires – how reduced water for agriculture impacts the region, and on-going concerns about uneven access to water resources.

“Tijuana and San Diego form a region closely linked by their economies, societies and culture,” said Natanael Ramírez Angulo, director of the Faculty of Economics and International Relations at UABC. “Understanding the problems and challenges involved in the management and use of water, an essential natural resource, must be a priority not only for governments but also for society itself, and we believe that universities can provide valuable knowledge that can help generate programs and policies that help local and federal governments to be successful in addressing this issue.”

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

 

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