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The original item was published from 12/7/2016 10:07:51 AM to 12/7/2016 10:10:54 AM.

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Posted on: December 6, 2016

[ARCHIVED] The Value of Water


In spite of the billions of dollars required to operate the multi-state system that brings water into our homes and businesses, Poway customers on average pay less than a cent per gallon for drinking water. It’s a tremendous value, considering the extensive transportation infrastructure, energy requirements and the extensive systems needed to provide safe, clean, reliable water for our community.  

The water that pours out of Poway taps starts its journey hundreds of miles away, from places like the Rocky Mountains to the Colorado River. Once in Poway, our water begins its local trek in Lake Poway and then is pulled into the Lester J. Berglund Water Treatment Plant for transformation to potable water. On average, Poway’s water system moves 8.65 million gallons of water each day through 269 miles of pipe to reach your tap.

Transporting our water on its long journey requires major infrastructure and a massive amount of energy.  Some of the infrastructure in this transportation network is nearly 100 years old. Thousands of skilled, hardworking professionals are constantly at work throughout the system to ensure that safe, clean water is delivered to our communities with a guarantee of meeting water quality standards.

Every dollar from customers’ water bill is invested back into water operations, maintenance, and infrastructure to help ensure reliable water availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While some of these system improvements are local (within Poway), others are regional, paid for as part of the city’s cost to buy water from the San Diego County Water Authority including:

  • Securing water supplies: Developing local water supplies, such as recycled water, desalinated water and programs to maximize water efficiency.
  • Pumping and moving water: Energy, supplies and facilities to move water where it’s needed and investing in technology to conserve and generate re-usable energy.
  • Testing and treating water: Chemicals, energy and equipment to ensure safe, clean water.
  • Upgrading systems: Replacing or improving equipment and facilities to meet growing demand, develop system redundancy and keep systems up-to-date and in good working order.
  • Operating and maintaining systems: Operators, engineers, technicians, plumbers, inspectors, accountants, managers and others ensure smooth operations and fiscal stability.
  • Protecting the environment: Maintaining and managing watersheds and water quality.

Additionally, regional water agencies are making major investments in new, local water sources to improve water reliability. These options include groundwater, seawater desalination, recycled water and potable water reuse. All of these possibilities will help ensure the reliability of our water for future generations.

(Adapted from an article produced by the California Urban Water Agencies.)

Poway Water System Facts

  • 8.65 million gallons of water delivered daily to residents and businesses
  • 269  miles of pipe
  • 19 storage reservoirs
  • More than 13,000 residential and business customers

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