Metropolitan to Help Fund San Diego’s Pure Water Recycling Facility

Project will provide new drinking water supply, produce up to 33,600 acre-feet a year

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the goal of further reducing Southern California’s demand on imported water supplies, Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors voted today to provide up to $285.6 million in incentives to San Diego’s Pure Water recycling project over the next 25 years.

The $1.4 billion project, being developed by the city of San Diego, will use advanced treatment processes to purify cleaned wastewater to create a drinking supply for the city’s residents.

The funding will come from Metropolitan’s Local Resources Program, which provides financial incentives for the development of local water supplies, such as water recycling, groundwater recovery and desalination. Since 1982, Metropolitan has invested $665 million in 111 local recycling and groundwater clean-up projects throughout the district’s six-county service area.

“Regardless of the location of each of these projects, they all help ensure Southern California as a region has a reliable water supply,” said Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. “Recycling projects like Pure Water San Diego help reduce demand on imported water, decrease the burden on our infrastructure, reduce system costs and free up capacity on Metropolitan’s conveyance system. That is immensely valuable to the entire region.”

Collectively, LRP incentives have helped develop more than 2.9 million acre-feet of recycled water and 991,000 acre-feet of recovered groundwater supplies that are treated to meet drinking water quality standards. An acre-foot of water supplies approximately three Southern California households for a year.

“Each of our member agencies have different opportunities to develop local water supplies. Our Local Resources Program recognizes these unique opportunities, while valuing the role they collectively play for the region,” Metropolitan Chairwoman Gloria Gray said.

The Pure Water project calls for wastewater from San Diego’s North City Water Reclamation Plant to be purified with advanced treatment processes such as ozone, biological activated carbon filters, microfiltration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet disinfection and advanced oxidation. The purified water would then be used to help fill San Diego’s Miramar Reservoir.

“Increasing water supply and reliability is essential for San Diego's continued growth, and this significant investment by the Metropolitan Water District into the Pure Water project is going to help San Diego ratepayers for years to come,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “Together with MWD staff and Chairwoman Gloria Gray, we are working together as a team to get big water projects done that benefit San Diego and all of Southern California.”

The first phase of the project is expected to produce 33,600 acre-feet of water annually. The LRP incentive will provide up to $340 per acre foot of water produced over the next 25 years, for a total of up to $285.6 million over the project’s lifetime.

The project has an ultimate total capacity of 83,000 acre feet.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that delivers water to 26 member agencies serving 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.


Rebecca Kimitch, (213) 217-6450; (202) 821-5253, mobile;
Maritza Fairfield, (213) 217-6853; (909) 816-7722, mobile;