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SHOWERS TO FLOWERS — A Tour Of San Diego’s New Water Recycling Facility
This past week Gary Wockner — coordinator for the Save the Colorado River campaign — had the opportunity to join Gabriel Solmer of San Diego Coastkeeper in a tour of the City of San Diego’s new water recycling facility.
San Diego gets nearly 85% of its water from imported sources, either from the Colorado River or from the rivers in northern California. By recycling their water, San Diegans can increase their water supply reliability as well as be better stewards of limited Southwest U.S. water supplies. San Diego Coaskeeper has been working for years with a large coalition to bring water recycling to life in the region. The facility just opened amidst much regional news coverage.
Dubbed “Showers to Flowers,” the facility recycles the City’s wastewater, and after purfication, sends it into the regional irrigation system that is used for lawn-watering and commercial irrigation needs. After the City receives approval from the California Dept. of Health, the water will eventually be recycled and sent into a nearby reservoir and used for drinking water.
The facility uses advanced “reverse osmosis” technology to purify the water, which is used in similar systems all over the world. After the system is proven reliable and safe in San Diego, the City hopes to increase capacity beyond the 1 million gallons per day of the current system. (One million galons per day is about 1,000 acre-feet per year).
The Save the Colorado River campaign has supported San Diego Coastkeeper’s efforts to promote water conservation and recycling in San Diego. We see water recycling as one of the solutions to Southwest U.S. and Colorado River water problems. If San Diego can do it, can Denver do it? Can Las Vegas do it? The answer is “yes,” of course, and we applaud the City of San Diego and San Diegans for taking this sustainable step forward — we encourage you find more ways to lead the Colorado River basin in both water supply and river protection so that we can all have a smaller and more sustainable footprint on this beautiful landscape.