Governor Signs Water Authority Bill to Advance Water Recycling
Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed Water Authority-sponsored legislation designed to advance water recycling statewide. Senate Bill 322, carried by State Sen. Ben Hueso of San Diego, is expected to expedite a transparent and rigorous scientific assessment of "potable reuse" as a potential water source.
The new law is particularly important in San Diego County, where water suppliers such as the city of San Diego and Padre Dam Municipal Water District are assessing ways to augment traditional water sources with advanced treated purified water. Partially treated wastewater is commonly used for irrigation and industrial purposes; the scientific question addressed by SB 322 is whether higher levels of treatment would make it safe to add repurified water directly into raw water supplies being delivered to treatment plants that produce drinking water. SB 322 requires the state Department of Public Health to convene an expert panel and investigate the development of uniform criteria for direct potable reuse.
Water recycling is an important piece of the regional strategy to increase water supply reliability by developing a portfolio of water resources instead of relying too heavily on a single source. In 2020, Water Authority projects that 6 percent of the regional water demand will be met by recycling, up from 4 percent in 2013. Other elements of the supply diversification plan include groundwater development, seawater desalination and conservation.
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To read the U-T San Diego story about SB322, click here.