Mayor Jerry Sanders is holding an 11 a.m. press conference today to reiterate his opposition to water reuse, the practice of recharging drinking aquifers with highly treated sewage.

Sanders took a similar position last summer, when the city was studying the issue. At the time, the mayor’s spokesman said Sanders didn’t dispute the science that shows water reuse is safe, but believed the public didn’t want such a program.

City Attorney Mike Aguirre revived the issue last week, after a federal court judge ordered a massive reduction in water supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

The delta, which captures snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada, has been a vital source of San Diego’s water, in some years providing up to 70 percent of the water delivered to Southern California. Some North County farmers will begin seeing water cutbacks as early as January.

Aguirre said the ruling highlights the need for water reuse to rise above the political backlash it has endured. The practice, in which treated wastewater is piped into drinking reservoirs, has been derided before as “toilet-to-tap.”

San Diego Coastkeeper, an environmental nonprofit, had offered to support a waiver of a needed upgrade at the city’s Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant in exchange for an agreement from the city to implement water reuse.

We’ll have more on this after the press conference.


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