San Diego signals new era of responsible water use, takes step to become national leader in potable reuse
SAN DIEGO, November 18, 2014 –San Diego Coastkeeper applauds today’s unanimous San Diego City Council vote that approved critical elements of the Pure Water program. This vote sets outs a twenty-year implementation plan and allows city staff to move forward with permitting needed to integrate the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant into a large-scale recycling system. The plan envisions a new era of water management and conservation in which the region will rely less heavily on imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River Basin. It also positions San Diego as a prime example for other cities on new strategies for potable water recycling.
“With this vote we are standing up for our environment and for ratepayers,” said Council President Todd Gloria. “We are taking a stand for our city’s future.”
In addition to clearing the way for permits related to the potable reuse program, the San Diego City Council ratified a cooperative agreement with environmental groups laying out steps to achieve both the significant reduction in discharges of treated sewage to the ocean and 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. San Diego Coastkeeper was one of the environmental groups that championed large-scale wastewater recycling as a win-win approach. The agreement aims to solve the problem of current sub-standard ocean discharges of treated wastewater and the need for a drought-proof source of locally controlled water for the San Diego region.
“The importance of this decision cannot be overemphasized. For nearly 15 years Coastkeeper has been involved in the process of seeking an appropriate solution to Point Loma discharge that includes recycling and the production of locally-controlled potable water for our region,” said San Diego Coastkeeper Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley. “We believe that this program will benefit not only our marine environment by beginning to reduce discharges into the ocean, but that it will also greatly benefit our region’s current and future water supply needs.”
For more information about wastewater recycling and the Pure Water program, please visit www.sandiego.gov/water/purewater.
SAN DIEGO COASTKEEPER: Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. Visit us online at https://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.