2017 Semifinalist
City of San Diego, CA
January 1, 2017

Pure Water San Diego offers one solution to two major challenges – it will produce one-third of San Diego’s water supply locally and reduce the City’s ocean discharges by half. Pure Water’s innovative solution relies on leveraging cutting-edge technology, formulating a new regulatory pathway and gaining public acceptance through multi-faceted outreach since 2004. Through a highly advanced process to produce one-third of the City’s potable water, wastewater is treated to recycled water standards at a Water Reclamation Plant, recycled water goes through a cutting-edge treatment process at the Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF), resulting in purified water, purified water is blended in a reservoir with other water supplies, water is pulled from the reservoir and treated further at a Drinking Water Treatment Plant, and potable water is distributed to consumers. The City has operated a 1-million-gallon-per-day demonstration AWPF to confirm the safe and reliable production of purified water since June 2011. In addition, the City has implemented a comprehensive public outreach and education program that has been a key part of Pure Water and has led to increased support of Pure Water as the City’s final solution. 28,000 water quality tests confirmed that the AWPF technologies produce water that meets all federal and state drinking water standards. Based on the demonstration AWPF results and close coordination with regulators, the State Water Resources Control Board granted conditional approval of the concept in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, the City procured a Program Management Consultant to help solidify Pure Water planning and complete pre-design efforts. The Detailed Design phase started in April 2016, with construction beginning in 2019.

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