East County Magazine
Broad coalition urging city leaders to move forward with safe, reliable options for drinking water in San Diego
March 20, 2013 (San Diego) The Water Reliability Coalition (WRC), a broad-based affiliation of environmental, business, consumer, labor, development, taxpayer and technical organizations, has come out in support of the City of San Diego’s Natural Resources & Culture committee’s decision to move forward in implementing water purification in the City of San Diego.
Earlier today, before the council committee voted unanimously to support water purification, WRC members stood beside Mayor Bob Filner, Council President Todd Gloria, and Councilmembers David Alvarez and Lorie Zapf to encourage city leaders to take the steps needed to implement water purification.
Four years ago, the City of San Diego began a “demonstration project” to show that advanced water treatment technologies can make water safe enough to augment our water supply. Today, the committee voted to direct City staff to develop a plan and timeline for next steps to implement water purification in San Diego. The plan is due in 90 days. The committee also wanted to ensure the plan maximizes our water supply and reduces the need for upgrades at the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant. Doing so has the potential to save ratepayers nearly $1 billion in upgrades at the plant.
“We’re thankful to see positive results and continuing momentum with water purification in San Diego,” said Jill Witkowski, San Diego Coastkeeper’s Waterkeeper and WRC Co-Chair. “However, time is of the essence — taxpayer dollars, the environment and our water supply all are at stake. We hope to see the City move expeditiously with its next steps.”
“City ratepayers simply cannot continue to sustain rate increases with no end in sight,” said WRC Co-Chair and San Diego County Taxpayers Association Interim President & CEO Chris Cate. “Taking advantage of reliable, safe water supply opportunities like water purification can help alleviate increases while providing a local source of drinking water.”
Water Reliability Coalition Co-founder and Equinox Center Executive Director Lani Lutar said: “Taking the water purification project to the next stage is the environmentally responsible approach to enhancing the region’s water reliability. While we must continue to embrace conservation opportunities, this new source of water is critical to the region’s economic prosperity and our quality of life.”
The Coalition believes recycling water for potable use can be an important part of San Diego’s water supply portfolio diversification and could provide one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly options to enhance local water supplies.
The Water Reliability Coalition is a broad-based affiliation of environmental, consumer, business, labor, development, taxpayer and technical organizations that have come together to support exploration of Indirect Potable Reuse as a potential strategy to develop a safe, reliable, sustainable & cost-effective local water supply. Coalition members include: BIOCOM; Building Industry Association; Building Owners and Managers Association, San Diego Chapter; Business Leadership Alliance; Citizens Coordinate for Century 3; Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation; Empower San Diego; Endangered Habitats League; Environmental Health Coalition; Equinox Center; Friends of Infrastructure; Industrial Environmental Association; National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, San Diego Chapter; San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council; San Diego Audubon Society; San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation; San Diego Coastkeeper; San Diego County Taxpayers Association; San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; San Diego River Park Foundation; Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Chapter; Sustainability Alliance of Southern California; Utility Consumers’ Action Network