The San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego today announced the completion of an exhibit about the region’s critical and complex water resources that is on permanent display at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. The theme is “Water Supply Reliability for the 21st Century: Innovation and Conservation,” underscoring the countywide priorities of investing in water supply reliability while making the most of the region’s water resources. The exhibit replaces an earlier version that debuted about a decade ago.
The exhibit includes information about the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, including a reverse-osmosis filter similar to the ones in Carlsbad that purify approximately 50 million gallons per day. It also includes a colorful design, along with photos, text, data and charts to explain how the region’s most precious natural resource is collected, cleaned and distributed.
The Fleet’s water exhibit is supported by the Water Authority and the City of San Diego and was funded by a grant from the Hans and Margaret Doe Charitable Trust.
“Generations of San Diego County residents have grown up with a commitment to water-use efficiency, and our education programs are designed to sustain that commitment far into the future,” said Mark Muir, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “Once people learn what it takes to provide our region with a safe and reliable water supply, they support our balanced approach that prizes smart investments while making the most of every drop.”
The new display panels at the Fleet include photos of many of the region’s major water supply investments over the past 15 years, such as:
- Lining seepage-prone earthen canals with concrete as part of a historic conservation-and-transfer agreement for water from the Colorado River
- Building Olivenhain Dam in North County
- Raising San Vicente Dam near Lakeside
- Developing the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in partnership with Poseidon Water
- Constructing the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant north of San Marcos
The exhibit also guides visitors through the water cycle, and through the steps of securing reliable water supplies, which include pumping, treating and delivering water. In addition, the displays emphasize the importance of WaterSmart landscaping, water recycling and reuse, and reducing storm water pollution. At one station, an interactive display allows visitors to compare homes with average water use to homes with efficient water-use practices, appliances and landscaping.
“This exhibit showcases our commitment to manage water resources for the long term,” said Halla Razak, director of the City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department. “It’s so important that the public understands our history of water supply diversification while supporting the development of new local supplies such as the City’s Pure Water potable reuse project that are part of our future.”
The Fleet Science Center is one of the San Diego region’s premier science education institutions, with more than 100 interactive exhibits, along with IMAX films, science workshops and community events that engage San Diego’s science-savvy audiences. More than 400,000 visitors explore the science center each year. For hours and admission prices, call (619) 238-1233 or go to www.fleetscience.org.
“Water is an integral part of our identity in San Diego County – and being aware of its importance is equally critical from a scientific perspective,” said Dr. Steven Snyder, CEO of the Fleet Science Center. “We are proud of this region’s record of innovation and conservation, and we are delighted to share that story through this interactive exhibit.”
For more than 30 years, the Water Authority’s school education program has fostered an appreciation for San Diego County’s water supplies. The Water Authority offers two popular school assembly options for elementary schools; supports the Splash Mobile Science Lab in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education; and manages a scholarship challenge in conjunction with the Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair.
Elementary classrooms also can benefit from free posters illustrating the water cycle and California’s major water distribution systems, funded by Doe Charitable Trust. Students and teachers in higher-level grades may also use the Water Authority’s “To Quench a Thirst” video as a learning resource. It’s a 13-minute history of water in the region (available on DVD or online) that’s accompanied by a digital flipbook. The three-part video series and the flipbook are at www.sdcwa.org/quench-thirst-documentary-series-highlights-regions-water-history. The Doe Charitable Trust also helped fund these resources.
Details about the Water Authority’s school education programs, including cost information and directions for participation, are at www.sdcwa.org/education.