By Dave Roberts, Supervisorial Candidate, Third District
May 21, 2012 (San Diego)--I understand the importance of preserving our environment, coastline, lagoons, and open spaces while fostering an economic climate that puts people to work. As a candidate for County Supervisor in the Third District and as the Deputy Mayor of the City of Solana Beach, it has been one of my top priorities to protect our precious natural resources and do so in a balanced way. For those reasons I have been endorsed by the Sierra Club, U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce, the League of Conservation Voters and the friends of the San Dieguito River Valley.
I am currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority (SEJPA). It's difficult to believe today, but up until the 1950's, wastewater was privately collected and discharged directly into the San Elijo Lagoon and the ocean! The SEJPA serves the cities of Solana Beach, Encinitas and portions of Rancho Santa Fe. The agency is committed to protecting public health, the ocean and the coastal environment. As such, creating recycled water from wastewater is an integral part of the Agency's service to the local community.
Through the recycled water program, more than 350 million gallons of wastewater are treated and recycled each year. This water would have otherwise been treated and then wastefully discharged into the ocean.
There is a new project I would like to share with you that aspires to push the boundaries of what a recycled water program might be able to accomplish. At SEJPA, we want to minimize ocean disposal of wastewater and support the growth of our recycled water program. In order to do so, we are investing in the main treatment process for purifying recycled water for our current water quality needs, and other future opportunities.
Concurrently, we are evaluating ways to address some storm water runoff and pollution issues in a capture-treat program as part of these upgrades. This is a small element of the project, but one that we're particularly proud of, as it has the potential to increase our effectiveness in reducing coastal pollution. This project is also a shining example of the success of collaboration. SEJPA has been developing the different aspects of this project in partnership with Solana Beach's engineering staff, the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy and the cities of Solana Beach and Encinitas.
Many impressive efforts have been undertaken throughout our county to make improvements in our region's water management. I'd like to recognize the Water Reliability Coalition that Surfrider helped establish, whose efforts resulted in the City of San Diego's Recycled Water purification project. In North County, SEJPA has teamed up with 11 other government agencies to evaluate how we can do more with recycled water. These evaluations range from expanding existing purple pipe projects to Indirect Potable Reuse.
In my eight years serving on SEJPA, it's been an honor to be able to develop sustainable water policies that have long-term benefits for our entire county. If elected Supervisor for the Third District, I will continue to work hard to ensure that San Diego is always using smart solutions for a better quality of life for everyone.
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