GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

San Diego recycled water presentation at UCSD

Posted by George J Janczyn on January 14, 2010

A seminar on San Diego’s water recycling program on Jan. 13 included an overview of the city’s Indirect Potable Reuse/Reservoir Augmentation Demonstration Project currently underway. The seminar was sponsored by UCSD’s Sustainability Solutions Institute. Marsi Steirer, Deputy Director of Long Range Planning and Water Resources, San Diego Water Department, was the featured speaker. A copy of the slides from her presentation is embedded below.

Although much of the presentation recapped information already available on San Diego’s Water Department website it was a good opportunity to review the project highlights in person and to hear the question/answer session afterwards.

One thing that caught my eye was the slide indicating that San Diego imports about 75% of its water, because most water department web pages I’ve seen indicate between 85-90%. Ms. Steirer explained that the number varies from year to year and the higher figure reflects a long-term average whereas the lower number is an “actual number.” Also I was disappointed that the city’s current water recycling rate of 3.1% was projected to increase only to 4.7% by 2030. Responding to that, Marsi stated that the figures in the slide were based on a 2005 planning document and that the numbers will likely change after the demonstration study is completed and the city council approves new goals. One person wondered if it makes sense to install a separate “purple pipe” infrastructure for recycled water if there is a possibility that all recycled water will eventually receive advanced purification to potable standards, in which case purple pipes wouldn’t be needed any more. Marsi indicated that they’re still struggling with that issue.

Another opportunity for the public to hear Ms. Steirer give a presentation on this topic is coming up on Wednesday, January 20, at a Surfrider Foundation meeting to be held at Forum Hall in University Towne Center.

UPDATE Feb 2, 2010: If you missed both of the above presentations, the Surfrider Foundation has a video of their Jan. 20 session.

(navigate the slides with the scroll bar or buttons at bottom, or point at slide and use mouse wheel)


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