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Water Reuse Study E-Update - May 2005

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The Water Reuse Study team has created this "E-Update" to bring you up-to-date on Study activities and provide news about the recycled water industry. Each issue will be posted on this website. We are sending e-mail announcements of new issues to persons who have expressed an interest in the Study. If you did not receive an e-mail announcement and would like to, please join our news group. If you did receive an announcement about this issue, you are automatically in the news group.

If you are new to the Water Reuse Study, the Study Overview will provide helpful background information. The Frequently Asked Questions section contains additional material that also may be of interest.

Online Water Reuse Study Survey Results

In August 2004, an online opinion survey was linked to the City Water Department's Water Reuse Study webpage. Although not a scientifically valid survey, it has provided a means for the public to provide input to the study and for the study team to gauge public opinion on specific water issues facing San Diego. Between August 2004 and April 2005, over 250 people responded to the survey; 83 percent were City residents and 63 percent had lived in the City for more than 10 years. Many had heard about the Water Reuse Study through organizations that they belong to, local planning groups, schools, the newspaper or through the City's Speaker's Bureau.

The majority of respondents indicated their concern that San Diego does not have enough water to meet our needs today or in the future. The participants were then asked to indicate their support or non-support of various proposed uses for recycled water.

More than 70 percent of the respondents supported use of recycled water for:

  • Irrigation of freeway landscaping,
  • Irrigation of golf courses,
  • Industrial uses,
  • Irrigation of parks and playing fields, and
  • Irrigation of common residential areas.

More than 60 percent of the respondents supported use of recycled water for:

  • Residential use (excluding drinking water),
  • School playgrounds, and
  • Irrigation of agriculture.

Just over 50 percent of the respondents supported use of recycled water for:

  • Recreational lakes, and
  • To undergo advanced treatment for use as a source of water for household use, including drinking water.

If you would like to participate in the survey, please visit the study website at www.sandiego.gov/water/waterreuse/waterreusestudy and link to the survey on the home page.

Residential Recycled Water Use in the El Dorado Irrigation District

The El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) has expanded the use of recycled water to new residences being built in their service area. In an effort to increase the use of recycled water and reduce demand for potable water supplies, the EID worked with Parker Development Company and Catellus Development Corporation to add recycled water infrastructure to the prestigious master planned community "Serrano," located in the El Dorado Hills east of Sacramento. The partnership between the EID and the developers resulted in expanding the use of recycled water from the development's golf courses and greenbelts to individual homes for front and back yard irrigation.

"We're hearing very good things from residents. We just don't get any complaints. It seems to be a source of pride in the community and the signs (reclaimed water in use) are everywhere," said Deanne Kloepfer, head of Strategic Management and Communications for EID. "Our summers are hot and dry with temperatures in the 90's, so recycled water is really needed."

The "Serrano" development is one of the largest master-planned communities in California. Potential home buyers are informed of the use of recycled water at residences in advance and educational materials point out the benefits of reusing a scarce natural resource for outdoor irrigation. When built out, 3,800 homes in the development are expected to use recycled water for landscaping. Because of the success of the "Serrano" project, the district recently mandated that all new developments use recycled water where feasible.

State Grant Awarded to Long Beach for Recycled Water

On April 21, 2005, the California Water Resources Control Board awarded a $3.25 million grant to Long Beach for the expansion of its recycled water system. When complete, the Long Beach Recycled Water System Expansion Project will more than double recycled water use in Long Beach from 4,000 acre feet annually to 9,000 acre feet annually, eventually meeting 12% of the City's total water demand.

The grant was made possible by Proposition 50, the "Water Quality, Supply and Safe Drinking Water Projects, Coastal Wetlands Purchase and Protection Act" passed by California voters in 2002. Proposition 50 authorized the sale of $3.4 billion in general obligation bonds for a variety of water projects including coastal protection, the CALFED Bay Delta Program and integrated regional water management, among others. To date, 25 projects have been selected to receive the $42 million made available for the current funding cycle. Grants such as these are good for Southern California's efforts to increase the use of locally produced water supplies and emphasize the importance of recycled water.

Independent Advisory Panel meets in May

The Independent Advisory Panel, contracted through the National Water Research Institute's Research Advisory Board to provide an independent review of the Water Reuse Study, met in San Diego on May 16 and 17. The panel consists of renowned experts in the fields of water and wastewater technology, public health, epidemiology, toxicology, water quality, economics, environmental science, public utilities and industry regulations. The panel members have individually reviewed technical research materials and data on various Study aspects and discussed their findings as a group at the May meeting. Their input and recommendations will be given to the Study team.

For more information about the Independent Advisory Panel's role in the Study, please visit http://www.sandiego.gov/water/waterreuse/waterreusestudy/iapanel/index.shtml.

Public Outreach Activities

The Study is currently working on a video production that will be aired on the City of San Diego's government access cable channel when completed. The video will describe the City's current water recycling efforts, the options and reuse technologies being researched, and public opinion gathering for the Study. The E-Update will announce when the production goes "on air" and can be seen on Cox Cable and Time Warner Cable channels.

In the News

News Articles of Interest - a chronological compilation with links to articles, materials and information about recycled water and related topics. Recent additions include:

Be sure to visit these and other areas of our website

  • Speakers Bureau information - how to contact the Study team for a presentation, a list of completed presentations, and a downloadable flyer on the Speakers Bureau.

Previous E-Updates

April 2005 E-Update
March 2005 E-Update
February 2005 E-Update
January 2005 E-Update
December 2004 E-Update