A new permanent exhibit at the Fleet Science Center explores what may be the San Diego region’s most important system — it’s water supply.

From the Colorado River to dams to desalination, the exhibit focuses on innovation and conservation in the 21st century. It replaces an earlier exhibit that debuted a decade ago.

A child explores the new exhibit. Courtesy Fleet Science Center

The new water exhibit is supported by the San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego and was funded by a grant from the Hans and Margaret Doe Charitable Trust.

“This exhibit showcases our commitment to manage water resources for the long term,” said Halla Razak, director of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department.

“It’s so important that the public understands our history of water supply diversification while supporting the development of new local supplies such as the City’s Pure Water potable reuse project that are part of our future,” she added.

The new exhibit explains many of the region’s major water supply investments over the past 15 years, including:

  • Lining seepage-prone earthen canals with concrete to get more water from the Colorado River
  • Building Olivenhain Dam in North County
  • Raising San Vicente Dam near Lakeside
  • Developing the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant

The exhibit also guides visitors through the water cycle, and through the steps of securing reliable water supplies, which include pumping, treating and delivering water.

Displays also explain the importance of  efficient landscaping, water recycling and reuse, and reducing storm water pollution. At one station, an interactive display allows visitors to compare homes with average water use to homes with efficient water-use practices, appliances and landscaping.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.