2016 WRC Spring Reception

The Water Reliability Coalition would like to thank the honorees, sponsors and everyone who attended the 2016 Spring Reception. The event was a rousing success!

San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate, City of San Diego Deputy Finance Director Lee Ann Jones-Santos and the Padre Dam Municipal Water District were recognized for helping to advance the cause of water reuse. Cate was honored as the WRC’s Political Champion of the Year. Cate has been an advocate for potable water reuse since 2009, recognizing the potential early on for this new water source. Even more important, Cate has continued to advocate for water reuse since he was elected to the San Diego City Council in 2014, serving as a champion for the Pure Water San Diego program and other forms of water reuse, such as storm water capture. Cate has also helped lead efforts on water rate reform, saying that the region needs a water rate system that rewards ratepayers for conserving while ensuring a stable stream of revenue to pay for capital projects and infrastructure.

Jones-Santos was honored as the WRC’s Behind-the-Scenes Rock Star of the Year.  While Jones-Santos generally prefers to keep a low profile, she has been involved in virtually every complex financial planning process for the $1 billion Public Utilities Department.

In addition, she has served as the chief number cruncher for Pure Water San Diego and has been closely involved in several rate development processes, helping to ensure a solid financial foundation for those initiatives.

Padre Dam Municipal Water District was honored as the Agency of the Year for its expedient planning, approval and construction of the Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Project.  This is the second time in three years that the agency is being honored by the WRC.  In 2014, the agency got kudos for their public outreach and education efforts specific to the then-planned demonstration project.  The pilot project is now up and running and available for tours.

Since March 2015, the pilot program has produced approximately 100,000 gallons of purified water each day. The ultimate goal of the Advanced Water Purification Program is to develop a proven full-scale program that produces approximately 25 to30 percent of East County’s drinking water supply.

More than two dozen elected officials attended the event, including Cate and fellow San Diego City Councilmember Mark Kersey. Total attendance was estimated at about 160.

We are looking forward to a great year of advocating for a safe, reliable, sustainable and cost-effective local water supply!