Last night the City Council listened to the public attending a hearing to vote on moving forward on efforts to eventually provide a safe and reliable source of water to San Diego — what is called Indirect Potable Re-Use or IPR.
Surfrider Foundation members were there to support funding a study that is necessary before the City can implement IPR. A special thanks to Dillon Miner and the students at UCSD for coming out to support it also!
We fully support the City’s efforts to recycle wastewater that is currently dumped into the ocean. We think that the City would be wise to implement IPR as soon as possible. It will not only provide a safe and inexpensive new supply of water, but it can eventually eliminate the discharge from Point Loma Sewage Treatment facility — and the inevitable cost of upgrading that plant to modern standards.
There is no doubt that IPR can be done safely and cheaply. All we need to do is look to our neighboring county to the north. The Orange County Water District, in partnership with the Orange County Sanitation District, is currently recycling wastewater that would have otherwise been dumped in the ocean. They are saving energy, they are reducing pollution and they are providing residents drinking water that is more purified than the water we currently import from far away places. And it’s cheaper than any other water supply alternative available.
This Orange County project, called the Groundwater Replenishment System, is winning awards for innovative water management from around the world. It’s time for San Diego to aggressively follow their lead with our own “Reservoir Augmentation Project.” We applaud the City Council for taking this first step, and look forward to the following steps to modernize our out-dated water management system.