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With recycled water deal signed, attention shifts to contentious Baylands site

Original post made on Dec 26, 2019

A landmark agreement between Palo Alto, Mountain View and Valley Water for expanding recycling water in the county is bringing attention to a site that has polarized local environmentalists.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 26, 2019, 9:17 AM

Comments (3)

Posted by Arthur Keller
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 26, 2019 at 12:55 pm

First, I clarify that what was approved for construction now (the Advanced Water Purification Facility) does not include the Measure E site. What might go in the Measure E site is only the second plant that might be built later for the additional 10 million gallons per day for recharging the aquifer in Santa Clara and San Jose so they can drink well water without land subsidence.

Second, it possible to build the second plant closer to its use. Palo Alto could choose to receive water from this plant, or it could choose to receive potable water. We do not yet have infrastructure to use much recycled water. We could have built a "purple pipe" recycled pipeline down Charleston-Arastradero corridor prior to the current work, but no one had that foresight. That could have provided recycled water for irrigation and other uses in the Research Park.

Third, the City of Palo Alto Utilities should plan to build a pipeline to bring potable water to the city as a backup system in case the Hetch Hetchy system fails (e.g., in an earthquake). The best time to build such a pipeline bringing potable water to Palo Alto is at the same time that Valley Water builds a pipeline to bring recycled water south. Trench once, build two pipelines, I say.

Fourth, the Cities of Santa Clara and San Jose current have access to water from the San Francisco Water Department, but it is not guaranteed. Those cities are trying to obtain a guaranteed water allocation, even above their current non-guaranteed allocation. Presumably that is so these cities can grow even more. I don't know if this request for water from the SFWD is behind why SFPUC and Valley Water chose to fight the Bay Delta Plan. As Mark Twain said, "Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over."

Posted by No to modified "poop-water"
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 26, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Couple of things come to mind as I read this story.

First, isn't the current waste treatment plant likely to flood with global warming and the rising bay water, or is the city planning to build a giant wall around it and hasn't told us yet? Why build more in the baylands where it is unsustainable?

Second, what long term thinking has gone into this move to supply treated "poop-water" to an ever growing and environmentally unsupportable population in this area. We have already far surpassed the carrying capacity of this area for more humans, supplying modified "poop-water" to let more people live here only helps the greedy developers not the environment we live in.

Posted by W. Reller
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 26, 2019 at 2:57 pm

W. Reller is a registered user.

Lets have another vote.

This should be a no brainer!

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