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Newport Beach

September 26, 2000|Alex Coolman, (949) 574-4330

The city is looking to sell its small stake in the San Joaquin Reservoir to the Irvine Ranch Water District, a move city leaders hope will reduce the potential for treated waste to be dumped in the Upper Newport Bay.

Tonight, the City Council will consider selling its 1.18% share in the reservoir, a now-empty facility in the hills east of town. Newport Beach is one of eight parties sharing ownership of the reservoir and would get about $13,000 in the sale.

The water district intends to buy all outstanding shares and convert the facility into a storage lake for highly treated sewage used for irrigation and industrial work.

Deputy City Manager Dave Kiff said the move should be an environmental boon to the city because giving the water district complete control of the reservoir will reduce the likelihood that excess reclaimed water will be dumped into the watershed for the back bay.

But Bob Caustin, founder of Defend the Bay, contends that Newport Beach needs to be using its small share of the reservoir ownership as a bargaining chip to push the water district for greater concessions on its discharge policies.

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