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Archived News Release from 2004

For Immediate Release

Recycled Water Task Force Submits Report, Recommendations to Redwood City

Redwood City, CA - March 18 , 2004 - After seven months of frequent meetings, research, and discussions the City Council-appointed Community Task Force on Recycled Water has completed its charge and produced a report and recommendations on alternatives for implementation of the city's recycled water project. The objective of the Task Force, in summary, was to identify ways to reduce drinking water demand by 2,000 acre-feet per year in a financially feasible manner that would give the City alternatives to using recycled water at schools and playgrounds in the initial phases of the project. The Task Force focused on solving the city's water supply and demand imbalance by the year 2010.

The Recycled Water Task Force Report, and a great deal of other recycled water project information, is available at www.redwoodcity.org/water. In summary, the Task Force recommends a combination of recycled water use, replacement of natural turf with artificial turf at selected schools and parks (sport fields only), continued use of groundwater at specified locations, and additional water conservation programs. The report states that with implementation of these activities, a total of 2,002 acre-feet per year of drinkable water would be saved, at minimal additional expense to the City.

The Task Force Report goes on to recommend other measures which may result in additional drinkable water savings. These other recommended measures include: additional use of groundwater and conservation measures; a commercial toilet replacement program; potential ordinance to implement additional conservation measures; consideration of low-flow urinals, electric eye faucets, and other conservation devices; potential water swaps with other drinkable water conveyers; evaluation of automated landscape irrigation technology and treatment technology.

The third recommendation of the Task Force is for City staff to prepare annual reports, for Council and public review, on its progress toward implementing the first two recommendations.

"This report is the result of a lot of hard work and consensus-building among a diverse group, and the members of the Task Force are to be applauded for their dedication and focus," said Redwood City Mayor Jeff Ira. "This is a very sensitive issue, and I'm gratified that the members kept to their mission, worked together, and came up with a great outcome for the Council to digest."

In approving a broadly-defined recycled water project in August of 2003, the City Council had determined that the proposed use of recycled water for landscape irrigation is safe and environmentally friendly. Re-examining this issue was not part of the Task Force's purpose.

Through its diligent efforts, the Task Force unanimously approved and supported the report's recommendations, despite the great potential for divisiveness on this issue. Their work is a great example of creating consensus among diverse perspectives, toward the greater goal of building community.

The next step is for the City Council to consider the Task Force's recommendations, a discussion which will take place at the Council's regular public meeting on March 22nd. It's expected that the Council will at that time review and accept the Task Force report, and ask the City staff to return with various implementation actions for its consideration. The public is invited to attend and participate in this discussion on March 22nd.

Visit Redwood City 's website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business.

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Contacts:
Task Force Members -
Derby Davidson
650-292-9054

Mark McLaren
650-595-4777

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