July/August 2015 home page

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Water Academy
Robin Crabtree | 25th Street


New brush-off station at beach
replaces showers. Courtesy City of Del Mar.
Click on image to enlarge.

“Fifty % Water Delivery Cut from Northern California.” “Never Again!” “No more water shortages.” These were the headlines in 1990.

Now we are in a drought again and Governor Brown requires us to cut water use by 25%.

I became more aware of water use and waste in response to the numerous news stories and started observing how we all use and waste potable or drinking water. In particular I observed the beach access areas where the restrooms, drinking fountains, and showers were being used by residents and visitors, and where a sign above the showers reads “Conserve Water. Please use Shower Sparingly.”

After watching for several days I noticed people using the showers for rinsing beach toys, boards, chairs, and themselves, as well as bathing their dogs. I also noticed surfers rinsing themselves with their own containers of water by their cars. All this made me want to learn more about our water; where it comes from, how and where it is treated, and what plans are available for emergencies.
The San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) Citizen Water Academy was recommended to me. I attended this Academy and learned all I was looking for and so much more!

Two evening classes and a Saturday. The first evening was spent where our water starts: Mission Trails Regional Park. The second evening was at the SDCWA Regional Office in Kearny Mesa where we experienced water decision making as board members. Saturday we started at the SDCWA Operations and Maintenance Center, then the Twin Oaks Water Treatment Plant, and then we walked the Olivenhain Dam!

I learned countless water facts including where our water comes from, where it’s treated, how the SDCWA has accomplished water supply diversification, how can we conserve our valuable water, and about an emergency storage project. Never again should San Diego be completely dependent on Northern California for our water supply!

The SDCWA is a wholesale water supplier to 24 member agencies including the City of Del Mar, and the goal of the Citizen Water Academy is to educate people about critical water issues in the region. They are “looking to expand and sustain a diverse network of influential individuals....who are knowledgeable about key water issues and regional programs and strategies...serving as outreach ambassadors.” If you would like to attend this academy contact them at www.wateracademy@sdcwa.org.


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