Daily Business Report-June 22, 2014
Recycled Wastewater is Coming
Sooner Than You Think
Ry Rivard | Voice of San Diego
The drought and growing public acceptance have turned a process once derided as “toilet to tap” into something politically palatable, and water officials across San Diego County are planning to make reused wastewater drinkable and widespread within a matter of years.
In the city, a $2.85 billion multi-part project, branded Pure Water, is hoping to use wastewater to start producing 30 million gallons a day of drinkable water within the next six years. That’s two years sooner and twice as much water as envisioned just months ago.
“The drought has definitely pushed this project,” said John Helminski, the assistant director of the city of San Diego’s water department. “The fact that we don’t know how long the drought will last. We’re already in the fourth year of drought — if we continue, it could get a lot worse than it is today.”
The city is not alone. The Padre Dam Municipal Water District in East County and a separate group of North County water agencies are each pursuing major projects to recycle wastewater.
Some water utilities already operate separate “purple pipe” recycled water programs that recycle some wastewater — but only well enough to use for irrigation and certain industrial uses. The purple pipe water flows through separate pipes from our drinkable water. The treated wastewater-turned-drinking water is heavily treated and would flow through the same pipes to homes and offices as regular drinking water.
While the city is still looking to expand its purple pipe system, the Pure Water program has in some ways put that on a back burner. While purple pipe water is cheaper for customers, it can only be used for certain things, like irrigation. It also requires a separate pipeline running next to existing pipes for drinking water, which is expensive.
But out in North County, a group of water agencies is working to expand their purple pipe system while simultaneously beginning to explore efforts to make wastewater drinkable.
“Everybody in the county is looking at this now,” said Kimberly Thorner, general manager of Olivenhain Municipal Water District in Encinitas, a member of the North County group. “You kind of have to because what is going on with the drought.”
Each of the projects aimed at making wastewater drinkable will treat wastewater, send the treated water to a reservoir or underground, treat the water again and then send it to homes and businesses.
General Atomics Gets $737M for Navy Catapult
General Atomics in San Diego has been awarded $737 million by the Defense Department to develop the launch and landing system for the John F. Kennedy, an aircraft carrier to be built in Virginia. About 45 percent of the work will be done in San Diego, where the company operates a major engineering center. The rest will be spread among General Atomics plants and affiliates in at least nine states. Work is expected to last until late 2022.
City May Initiate Sales Tax to Meet
$3.87 Billion Infrastructure Needs
With a massive gap between infrastructure needs and available funding, San Diego officials could consider asking the public for a sales tax increase next year, according to a report to be delivered to a City Council committee next week.
City staff has estimated that San Diego has $3.87 billion in infrastructure needs, from fixing pothole-riddled roadways to building new fire stations. However, only $2.16 billion in funding is available.
The report from the city’s Independent Budget Analyst’s Office, scheduled to go before the council’s Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, says that three viable options for covering the $1.7 billion gap are raising sales taxes, taking out general obligation bonds and eliminating a law that requires free curbside trash pickup for residents.
A quarter-cent increase in the sales tax would raise about $68 million annually, which could be leveraged to take out a $500 million, 15-year bond that would be paid back with the resulting revenue, according to the IBA. The report said that would still leave $26 million a year with which to cash-fund projects.
The city’s sales tax rate would go from the current 8 percent, tied for the lowest in the region, to 8.25 percent.
Matt Awbrey, a spokesman for Mayor Kevin Faulconer, said the mayor would prefer to fully implement reforms to make “the city as efficient and effective as possible first” before entertaining a sales tax increase.
— City News Service
Tech Institute Inks Pact with Carlsbad
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is working with Carlsbad on a proposal to open a graduate-level engineering program in the North County city. If Carlsbad and RIT move forward with the agreement, RIT will begin offering MS degrees in computer, electrical and sustainable engineering in Carlsbad. Within 10 years, it is projected the program could produce 1,000 graduates. Carlsbad is home to a highly-concentrated cluster of tech and engineering companies that would further benefit from the university’s potential expansion to North County.
The Future of Energy in San Diego
Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 willl present “The Future of Energy” at a June 25 Breakfast Dialogue at The Prado in Balboa Park. Tickets are $30 for members, $40 for nonmember and $23 for students.
A panel of experts will cover topics such as how a secure energy future will power our region’s economy, new governance models necessary to accommodate emerging service models and clean energy goals, and how all will help San Diegans prepare policies toward a forward thinking, livable future.
Panelists are: Andrew McAllister, member of the California Energy Commission; Jim Avery, senior vp, SDG&E; and Scott Anders, director, Energy Policy Initiatives Center, USD. Moderator: Douglas Kot, head of sustainable buildings and communities for DNV GL.
For reservations: www.c3sandiego.org.
SD Manufacturing, R&D Workshop
From manufacturing to research, there are many reasons San Diego remains a competitive spot for businesses. On Friday, June 26, numerous partners — including the Port, GO-Biz, the City of San Diego and more — will host a complimentary lunch workshop to assist companies in learning more about numerous programs to help local manufacturers thrive.
The San Diego Manufacturing, Research & Development Lunch Workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at San Diego City College, 1551 C St., Building MS 140.
Register online: www.boe.ca.gov/seminars
KB Home Announces 52-Home
Development in Rancho Penasquitos
KB Home announced plans to build 52 single-family residences in Rancho Penasquitos where every home will include its own on-site water recycling system to treat and reuse their own grey water.
The home designs at Sea Cliff will feature water-conserving technologies, offering homebuyers the first opportunity to own a WaterSense labeled home with advanced plumbing, drought-tolerant landscaping, smart irrigation and the innovative Nexus eWater grey water recycling system, all included as standard features, the company said.
According to KB Home, each new home built at Sea Cliff is estimated to conserve up to 100,000 gallons of water annually for a household of four or more when compared to a typical resale home and landscaping, a reduction of approximately 70 percent.
Collectively, the 52 KB homes planned at Sea Cliff are projected to save 5.2 million gallons of water in aggregate each year, the equivalent of 520 residential swimming pools, or more than 150 million gallons over the next 30 years, the company said.
Prices of the homes begin in the $900,000s.
Lozier and Huggett Join CBRE San Diego
Douglas Lozier and Andrew Huggett have joined CBRE San Diego’s Occupier Advisory & Transactions Group. The two executed in excess of $250 million in transactions over the last three years at their previous firm, according to CBRE.
Lozier was a senior vice president and co-manager of the San Diego operations of Savills Studley, while Huggett was managing director.
Prior to Savills Studley, Lozier was with CBRE for 15 years. He graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in science.
Huggett graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
San Diego State and USD Partner in Program
to Prepare Students for Life Sciences Careers
San Diego State University College of Sciences and the University of San Diego School of Law are partnering on an innovative new program — the only one of its kind in the United States — that prepares students for upward career mobility in the growing life sciences industry.
The six-course joint Advanced Certificate in Intellectual Property and Regulatory Affairs program begins this fall and will help students build professional skills that employers are seeking in science, law and business.
This certificate provides an interdisciplinary approach to expand the knowledge base of life science professionals working to translate scientific discovery into commercial products.
“The innovation economy is central to our region,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “Life sciences companies already employ 45,000 people in San Diego County, and this sector is growing with high-wage jobs.
“These companies need employees who can work within the complex IP and regulatory framework necessary to get products to market. Our joint program will give students these skills, benefiting them and our entire region.”
Courses will be on campus at USD School of Law and online through SDSU. The program is administered through SDSU’s College of Extended Studies.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The Chargers have been a deadweight loss to the community. Indeed, given its existing drivers of economic growth, including tourism, high-tech industry and the military, San Diego is the very model of a place that doesn’t need the NFL.”
— Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times