GrokSurf's San Diego

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

Public perception of water reuse

Posted by George J Janczyn on July 21, 2011

A report on water reuse in the April 11 issue of Water Desalination Report (requires sub) contains this gem:

“Water reuse is an indispensible component of almost every water management strategy. However, the way water is reused, and the public’s acceptance of it, varies remarkably from one community to the next. In California, one community embraced indirect potable reuse (IPR) while another, less than 100 miles down the road, disparagingly branded it as “recycled sewage.”

Guess which communities they’re talking about and who’s pushing that branding?


3 Responses to “Public perception of water reuse”

  1. hmm, they are probably talking about OC and San Diego, and the desal folks are probably ‘branding’ the water that way.

  2. Burt Freeman said

    Reuse is, in general, a desirable tool for the efficient use of water, provided it delivers safe, economical and reliable water. The City of San Diego Water Reuse Demonstration program addresses some of these issues, in addition to that of water safety —

    is it cost-effective? Let’s note that San Diego already has a significant water reuse service, served by purple pipes. In spite of the very low price ($.80/HCF), the city has not been able to sell all of the tertiary-treated water that is available. As for Potable Reuse, we are still waiting for the price of the proposed program, but previous estimates indicate that it will be quite expensive compared to imported potable water.

    is it technologically feasible? The City of San Diego Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) proposal differs technologically from other IPR projects (and particularly, that in Orange County) in the method to sequester the water (aquifer vs. reservoir storage). Questions remain (and are under investigation) about whether the much more complicated reservoir detention scheme will work as desired.

    The Demonstration project is still in progress; hopefully, it will provide clear answers to all of the questions about the city’s IPR effort.

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