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.
— San Diego County Water Authority (@sdcwa) December 22, 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).
💧At #2 – Water News Network Top Stories of 2021: An underground reservoir is being constructed within the park to improve the Water Authority’s untreated water system in the northwest area of Mission Trails Regional Park. https://t.co/5AchK3mvic #WaterInfrastructure #cawater
— San Diego County Water Authority (@sdcwa) December 30, 2021
Thank you @LittleJoeTV for visiting our crews in Mission Trails Regional Park and learning more about the Water Authority’s underground reservoir under construction. Learn more about this project and current trail closures: https://t.co/LqXAijUhmB #cawater #missiontrails pic.twitter.com/uHXzMOLsaa
— San Diego County Water Authority (@sdcwa) April 9, 2021
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
“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.”
#3 on Water News Network in 2021: Pure Water Oceanside Project Reaches Milestoneshttps://t.co/0Ub5JHTwBU #cawater
— San Diego County Water Authority (@sdcwa) December 29, 2021
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.
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.
Our Deputy Director was on @NPR’s 1A show to discuss water recycling! Cities recycle wastewater for uses like irrigation. As populations grow & dry climate affects water supplies, some cities are recycling wastewater so it's safe to drink, like #PureWater: https://t.co/0EyGfOrysK
— Pure Water San Diego (@PureWaterSD) December 12, 2021
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.
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.
8" (~20cm) of #snow over the last 24 hours at our 8am measurement. That brings our December total to 210" (~533cm) and our season total to 264" (~671cm).
— UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab (@UCB_CSSL) December 29, 2021
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.
"We ultimately were cut back by over 30% for 13 months. It harmed the economy and harmed the quality of life here. And it really wasn't a situation that we ever wanted to experience again," said Sandy Kerl, @sdcwa General Manager. #cawater #CAdrought https://t.co/NpJNAqDgN9
— San Diego County Water Authority (@sdcwa) December 9, 2021
(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.)