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Water Reuse Study E-Update - December 2005

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As this year closes, the Water Reuse Study would like to extend a warm thank you for your support and involvement in the Study. We look forward to working with you in 2006 and we wish you a wonderful holiday season and New Year!

The Water Reuse Study team has created this "E-Update" to keep 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 may also be of interest.

Independent Advisory Panel Has Final Meeting

The Independent Advisory Panel (IAP) tasked with reviewing the City of San Diego Water Reuse Study met for the last time on November 30 and December 1. This panel of ten prestigious scientists and a community representative was formed by the National Water Research Institute to provide a scientific third party review of the Study.

The recent meetings of the IAP provided the panel members the opportunity to review and comment on the Water Reuse Study Draft Report. Their initial assessment found that the Draft Report met the requirements of the City Council resolution, and the water reuse strategies outlined in the Draft Report were appropriate and clearly presented.

The IAP will issue their summary findings at the end of December. These findings will be included in the Final Draft Report, which will be reviewed by the City Council in 2006.

Chamber Endorses American Assembly II Statement

On December 15, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce voted to support the recommendation of the PUAC on the Water Reuse Study and endorse the American Assembly Workshop II Statement, which calls for an aggressive policy for water reuse in the city. This Statement supports a water reuse strategy that includes everything from increased use of recycled water for irrigation and industrial use to reservoir augmentation.

The Chamber further supported recommendations adopted by the PUAC

  • The City has completed the assignments designated in the City Council Resolution 298781 "Regarding the Study of Increased Aspects of Water Reuse" adopted January 13, 2004
  • Urge the City to develop a scope of work and strategy to implement the Study's American Assembly Workshop II Statement.
  • Urge City staff to report to the PUAC on implementation of City water reuse policies, strategies and projects described in the Statement

The Chamber's review of this issue included recommendations from its Water Subcommittee and Infrastructure and Public Policy Committees before the final vote by the Board of Directors. The Chamber also commended the City for its outreach efforts and encouraged the City to continue and expand these efforts.

Singapore Expands NEWater Reservoir Augmentation Facilities

In September 2005, Singapore NEWater announced it was expanding its advanced water treatment facilities to meet the growing demand for their product. NEWater "factories" have been online since September 2003 providing advanced treated reclaimed water to industries and commercial users in addition to supplementing their drinking water supply through reservoir augmentation. NEWater currently has three factories in operation, producing approximately 20 million gallons per day (MGD) of high quality water.

According to Singapore's Public Utilities Board (PUB), demand for NEWater has been steadily increasing since its launch in 2003. The volume of NEWater has jumped 35 percent in the last year. To meet this demand, PUB plans to expand the production capacities of the three current NEWater facilities. A fourth facility (with a capacity of 25 MGD) will also be operational by the end of 2006.

The development of NEWater is largely credited to chemist and entrepreneur Olivia Lum. She has focused on the development of filtration technologies for Singapore and Southeast Asia. An article titled "She found wealth in water" was recently published in the Los Angeles Times.

Lawsuit Filed Opposing Study of Reservoir Augmentation

A lawsuit has been filed recently against the City of San Diego in opposition to the Water Reuse Study's exploration of reservoir augmentation as an option for increasing the use of recycled water. The lawsuit alleges that reservoir augmentation is being secretly promoted by the City.

The City Attorney's office is responding to the lawsuit and feels that the claims do not have merit. The Water Reuse Study process has been very open and there have been a number of efforts to ensure public involvement every step of the way. The Water Department responded to the article with a letter to the editor (PDF), highlighting the process and public outreach involved.

The Water Department would like to thank those that sent e-mails and letters to the editor in response to the article about the lawsuit. To view other letters to the editor written in response to this article, visit this link (PDF).

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.