A step in easing drought-related problems, San Diego poised to become leader in potable water recycling
SAN DIEGO, – At an event today, Mayor Faulconer announced his support for the Pure Water program, a large-scale wastewater recycling program on which the San Diego City Council will vote on . Currently, San Diego currently relies heavily on imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River Basin, and dumps up to 200 million gallons per day of partially treated wastewater into the ocean.
“Pure Water is an innovative program that will improve the lives of all San Diegans in every neighborhood,” Mayor Faulconer said. “I’m bringing people of all walks of life together – environmental groups, business organizations and regional leaders – to solve our water problems and move our city forward. This will help our region grow and thrive, and establish San Diego as a national environmental leader.”
The Pure Water strategy was developed through more than a decade of work with area environmental groups, including San Diego Coastkeeper, and includes steps that will achieve both the significant reduction in discharges of treated sewage to the ocean, as well as the production of at least 83 million gallons per day of drinking water by 2035, enough to meet about 40% of the City of San Diego’s current use.
“For our community to continue to prosper, it will take truly integrated water management and infrastructure approaches,” said San Diego Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley. “The Pure Water program is exactly this type of approach, dealing with ocean water quality improvement while also providing a locally-controlled drinking water supply. The importance of next week’s decision cannot be overemphasized and I strongly urge the council to move forward with Pure Water.”
Since the late 1990s, environmental groups have championed large-scale potable wastewater recycling as a win-win approach to solving the problem of continued sub-standard ocean discharges of treated wastewater and the need for a drought-proof source of locally-controlled water for the San Diego region. Their efforts led to two recycled water feasibility studies and a highly successful demonstration project, the results of which positioned the city to undertake the Pure Water program.
The City Council vote is expected to take place at Council Chambers, 200 C Street San Diego on
For more information about wastewater recycling and the Pure Water program, please visit www.sandiego.gov/water/purewater.