A ribbon-cutting ceremony at Flora Vista Elementary School on Nov. 28 celebrated the beginning of operation of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) Village Park Recycled Water Project.
OMWD Board President Edmund Sprague cut the ribbon — while Encinitas City Council member and Board Chair of the San Diego County Water Authority Mark Muir and Encinitas Mayor Elect and Board Chair of the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority Catherine Blakespear were also in attendance — at the Encinitas elementary school, which will be the first OMWD customer to receive this new source of recycled water for landscape irrigation, now that the project’s pump station and seven miles of pipeline are in service.
The completion of this project, which is an element of the larger North San Diego Country Regional Recycled Water Project, will enable OMWD to deliver recycled water to schools, homeowner association-maintained areas and greenbelts throughout the Village Park community.
“I’m proud of the local agencies like OMWD investing in local drought-proof supply and improving regional reliability, with projects such as this one, which is a cost-effective approach to local sustainability,” Muir told the assembled crowd. “This project is an example of one of the many investments our region has made to … help to ensure an efficient water supply during this and future droughts.”
The OWMD project began in the spring of 2015, and can offset up to 14 million gallons of potable water use each year.
Representatives from the California Natural Resources Agency and Department of Water Resources took part in the celebration, along with officials from the Encinitas Union School District.
“The thing I’ve been most impressed with in two years on our wastewater board and also on our water district is how well these agencies work together,” Blakespear said. “I think what it is partly, is buying into the common vision of recycled water being a benefit that everyone agrees is common good.”
OMWD serves approximately 15 percent of its overall demand from recycled water, and continues to identify additional ways to make recycled water available to eligible customers.
“Almost 90 percent of San Diego County’s water supplies are imported and subject to drought and other potential supply interruptions,” Sprague said in a news release. “With continued drought conditions and state mandates, decreasing demand on imported water through investing in drought-resilient supplies is of paramount importance.”