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San Diego Mayor: Recycled Wastewater Program Will Be a Model

Mayor Kevin Faulconer sees San Diego's Pure Water Program as proof of concept for other cities with uncertain water supplies. By 2035, the initiative aims to derive one-third of the city's supply from recycled wastewater.
May 24, 2017, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Joe Jungmann

For Brookings, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer writes, "San Diego currently imports 85 percent of its water from the Colorado River and Northern California Bay Delta. With such limited control, San Diego is vulnerable to rising water costs from wholesalers, recurring droughts, climate change, and disruptions in water supply infrastructure due to natural disasters."

Through the Pure Water Program, "our city will use advanced water purification technologies to recycle wastewater into safe, high-quality drinking water. This recycling will produce approximately one-third of San Diego's water supply by 2035." The goal is greater water independence in a dry region. 

The project will require substantial investment ($1.2 billion for the first phase alone) for "the design, construction and operation of several new advanced water purification facilities, pump stations and pipelines, and improvements to existing treatment plants."

Faulconer continues: "a renewable energy project that will utilize methane captured from the local landfill to power the majority of the Phase 1 facilities."

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Published on Thursday, May 18, 2017 in Brookings
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