WASHINGTON — The City of San Diego Public Utilities Department received the U.S Water Prize by the U.S. Water Alliance for its Water Purification Demonstration Project, according to a press release.

Public Utilities Director Halla Razak accepted the prize during the U.S. Water Prize Awards Ceremony held April 13 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., stated the release.

Initiated five years ago by the U.S. Water Alliance, continued the release, the U.S. Water Prize award aims to honor organizations with strategies promoting the value of water and the power of “innovating and integrating for one water sustainability.”

“This year’s awardees highlight the commitment and innovation we see throughout America’s water and business sectors,” said Tracy Mehan, interim president of the U.S. Water Alliance. “The alliance board and staff offer their heartfelt congratulations to them all.”

The City of San Diego Public Utilities’ demonstration project honored with the award confirmed the viability of purifying recycled water to supplement drinking water supplies, and the findings from the project are helping to develop standards for potable reuse across the U.S., reported the release.

The project also enabled San Diego to move forward with “Pure Water San Diego,” the city’s long-term potable reuse program, noted the release.

“Pure Water San Diego will provide one-third of the city of San Diego’s water supply upon completion in 2035, with the first 15 million gallons per day being produced by 2023,” said Razak. “Water supply independence is an ever important goal because of the increased pressure on imported water supplies due to recurring droughts, rising population, increasing costs and climate change. The city is committed to controlling more of its own destiny by implementing potable reuse.”