San Diego creates state’s first water, sewer ‘capacity bank’ to boost biotech, breweries

Nov 1, 2019

San Diego will create California’s first “capacity bank” for water and sewer, allowing breweries and biotech firms to cheaply buy excess water and sewer capacity from former factories.

The City Council unanimously approved the capacity bank on Tuesday, calling it an innovative idea that will create jobs and help the city avoid expensive expansions of its sewer and water infrastructure.

“From conversations I’ve had with a lot of breweries in my district, this is going to be a very popular program,” said Councilman Chris Cate, who represents Miramar, Mira Mesa and Kearny Mesa.

The council also unanimously approved a companion proposal that geographically expands and softens the qualifications for the city’s “guaranteed water” program, which ensures local firms access to water during droughts or other kinds of shortages.


Councilman Chris Ward called the expansion “forward thinking” and praised city staff.

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