Solving San Diego’s Drought

Maritime Update on San Diego’s Drought

I recently attended a Maritime Industry Roundtable discussion with the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA). The topic of discussion was ensuring a reliable water supply within San Diego County.

In 1991 San Diego County’s Water Supply was provided 5% from local sources and 95% from the Southern Californian Metropolitan Water District. These are shocking statistics that have led to an initiative to increase San Diego County’s water supply reliability through Supply Diversification.  By 2020 SD County plans to diversify its water supply amongst conservation, seawater desalination, as well as Coachella and all American Canal linings. This diversification will result in receiving just 30% of the county’s water supply from the metropolitan water district. There are also discussions and plans to lessen the effects of drought by recycling graywater.
Furthermore, in response to the massive drought the region is facing, a Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) has been drawn up that will build twin water transportation tunnels from the San Joaquin Bay-Delta to San Diego.  Despite its projected success and reliability it is a costly and time consuming project that is surrounded with questions.  San Diego’s water future rests on the balance between imported and local water supplies.   But which is more cost effective and efficient? In a 2014 Water Issues Public Opinion Pool, 57% of San Diegans said they would prefer local investments as opposed to Bay-Delta and imported water supplies.   San Diego’s drought problems may gradually be solved through abandoning imported supplies and focusing on new local water reuse supplies and desalination technology.  In the meantime continue to save water!
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