Apr 17, 2015

San Diego Public Utilities Department Wins U.S. Water Prize

The award was presented at a ceremony at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2015

U.S. Water Prize San Diego Public Utilities

The U.S. Water Alliance awarded the city of San Diego Public Utilities Department the U.S. Water Prize for its Water Purification Demonstration Project. Public Utilities Director Halla Razak accepted the award at the ceremony at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2015.

The U.S. Water Prize was initiated five years ago by the U.S. Water Alliance to elevate organizations with strategies that promote the value of water and the power of innovating and integrating for one water sustainability. “This year’s awardees highlight the commitment and innovation we see throughout America’s water and business sectors,” said Tracy Mehan, interim president of the U.S. Water Alliance. “The Alliance Board and staff offer their heartfelt congratulations to them all.”

The city’s demonstration project confirmed the feasibility of purifying recycled water to supplement local drinking water supplies. The demonstration project findings are helping develop standards for potable reuse across the country and enabled the city to move forward with Pure Water San Diego, the city’s long-term potable reuse program.

“Pure Water San Diego will provide one-third of the city of San Diego’s water supply upon completion in 2035, with the first 15 million gal per day being produced by 2023,” said Public Utilities Director Halla Razak. “Water supply independence is an ever important goal because of the increased pressure on imported water supplies due to recurring droughts, rising population, increasing costs and climate change. The city is committed to controlling more of its own destiny by implementing potable reuse.”

The ceremony was attended by hundreds of water industry leaders throughout the United States. The Coca-Cola Company and the Electric Power Research Institute were fellow 2015 U.S. Water Prize winners.

"The innovative Pure Water project is an investment in our future that will provide San Diego the reliable water supply we need for our economy to grow and our city to thrive,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “I've joined environmental, business and community leaders to create environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solutions to our water challenges."

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