Documentary highlights San Diego region's water history

Water Authority’s "To Quench a Thirst" series chronicles regional search for water supplies, from historical to modern times.

Jun 3rd, 2016
Content Dam Ww Online Articles 2016 06 Water System Historical
An engaging new documentary series highlights the major events in the San Diego region’s on-going quest for safe and reliable water supplies.

SAN DIEGO, June 2, 2016 -- The San Diego County Water Authority has released a succinct yet engaging new documentary series that highlights the major events in the San Diego region’s ongoing quest for safe and reliable water supplies.

Available at www.sdcwa.org/quench-thirst-documentary-series-highlights-regions-water-history and based on the book "To Quench a Thirst: A Brief History of Water in the San Diego Region," the three-part video series provides a 13-minute overview that traces the search for water from the region’s indigenous people through generations of area leaders who developed the region’s diversified water supply portfolio and robust infrastructure that today sustains 3.2 million people and a $218 billion economy. "To Quench a Thirst" was first published by the San Diego County Water Authority in 2002 and updated in 2013.

These videos are now part of the curriculum for the Water Authority’s award-winning Citizens Water Academy, a class series for community leaders interested in water issues. The videos are also designed for use by teachers, community groups and others who want to learn more about the management of the region’s most precious natural resource. For more information on Citizens Water Academy, go to www.sdcwa.org/citizens-water-academy.

"The San Diego region’s history is inextricably tied to the quest for a reliable water supply, and this documentary series shows how the region overcame numerous challenges on that journey," said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. "Despite having few local water resources, we have succeeded in meeting the needs of a growing population and vibrant economy. This series tells our water story."

The video series covers the construction of the first major dams and reservoirs in the late 1800s, along with modern investments and prudent management of water supplies that sustain local homes and businesses even during very dry years. Part 1 takes viewers though the region’s early water history up to the historic buildup during World War II that resulted in the first Colorado River water imports to the county; Part 2 focuses on the county’s post-war population boom, the challenges that came with the growing region’s susceptibility to drought, and the Water Authority’s supply diversification strategy that led to the addition of new resources such as desalinated seawater. These and other challenges and achievements are tied together in Part 3 to illustrate the Water Authority’s vision for keeping the region’s economy and population thriving with a reliable water supply.

Both the "To Quench a Thirst" book and video series were made possible by a grant from The Hans and Margaret Doe Charitable Trust.

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