San Diego’s revolutionary project to ensure an adequate supply of drinking water by recycling it received the final go-ahead on Thursday.
The City Council authorized Mayor Kevin Faulconer to award construction contracts for the $614 million first phase of the project, which will produce 30 million gallons a day beginning in 2021.
“This will be one of the most important infrastructure projects in city history and puts San Diego on the path to water independence for the first time,” Faulconer said. “Pure Water will deliver a safe, reliable and sustainable source of water for all San Diegans for generations to come. It’s just the latest example of how we’re leaving a cleaner San Diego than the one we inherited.”
Construction will begin in the spring on the North City Pure Water Facility at Interstate 805 and Eastgate Mall. Also included in the first phase are new pump stations and pipelines.
The purified water produced at the new facility will be delivered to the Miramar Reservoir and blended with the city’s imported and local water sources before being treated again at the Miramar Water Treatment Plant and distributed to customers.
The ordinance authorizing the mayor to award construction contracts passed 5-4, with Republican members of the council objecting to a requirement to use union labor.
“While I have been an ardent supporter of Pure Water since its inception, I was forced to vote ‘no’ due to unfair and discriminatory amendments that will harm non-union construction workers and their families,” said Councilmember Scott Sherman.
The Pure Water program will provide one-third of San Diego’s water supply by 2035.
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