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Quality of Life

Boats return to Miramar Reservoir after Pure Water pipeline installation

After nearly a year, the Miramar Reservoir is open to boats again. KPBS reporter Katie Anastas reports that this reopening marks the successful installation of an underwater pipeline designed to increase the local water supply.

The Miramar Reservoir is once again open to motorboats, canoes, kayaks and float tubes. The city-owned reservoir had been closed to boaters for nearly a year.

Torrey Thomas brought kayaks and fishing poles to the reservoir on Tuesday.

“We’re here to do some bass fishing,” he said. “It’s been about a year now and this is our local lake, so we’re glad to get back on the water.”


The city closed the reservoir to boats last September to install a mile-long underwater pipeline. It’s part of the city’s effort to reduce San Diego’s dependence on imported water by purifying recycled water.

Right now, most of the water in the Miramar Reservoir comes from the Colorado River. That water goes through the nearby Miramar Water Treatment Plant and then to taps as far north as Rancho Bernardo.

According to the city, San Diego imports 85% of its water from the Colorado River and Northern California Bay Delta. The cost of that imported water has tripled in the last 15 years.

Amy Dorman, an assistant director with the city’s Public Utilities Department, said purifying recycled water will give the city a more reliable water supply.

“We recently had a good rain year, but if you've lived here more than five to 10 years, you know that we also get our share of drought cycles,” she said.


Dorman said the new system will start delivering water to the Miramar Reservoir in 2026. The city’s goal is to produce nearly half of San Diego’s water supply by 2035.