Monday April 30, 2007 | Regarding Rob Davis‘ story on reliability of our water supply…

Southern California is like a patient on life support: in one arm we have a lifeline bringing us water from the north; in the other arm, water from the east. For most of San Diego County, there is virtually no local water source.

Far-thinking policy makers over the years have developed and continue to improve a local network of water reservoirs, and to interconnect them to give us a workable emergency supply — for a few months.

If there is a catastrophic failure of either — or both canals — or their water sources, we face a gradual water disaster.

For this reason, it is foolish to not augment our water supply with new sources. Specifically, injecting our reservoirs and depleted aquifers and wells with reused potable water and desalinated water.

Each of these methods for making clean drinking water is scientifically proven, yet politically controversial. Both are expensive. Neither can produce all the water we need. But both desalination and potable reuse are essential to balance our water portfolio to give us some degree of water independence in the case of a long term disruption of our external sources whether from climate change, other natural disaster, or other disruption of our water supply.

Bob Nelson is a member of the San Diego City Public Utilities Advisory Commission, Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation but this letter does not necessarily represent the policy of any agency or group.

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