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Water Authority board chairman Jim Madaffer addresses the National Albondigas Political Society of San Diego about water's importance to the region's economy. Photo: Water Authority Water supply reliability

Madaffer: Collaboration Propels San Diego Water Supply Reliability

As the San Diego County Water Authority celebrates its 75th anniversary this month, Board Chair Jim Madaffer offered a fresh vision of the region’s water future and outlined new efforts to ensure water supply reliability for generations to come at the National Albondigas Political Society of San Diego meeting in Chula Vista.

Madaffer pointed to the 2003 Quantification Settlement Agreement with the Imperial Irrigation District as an example of the creative thinking and political leadership needed to secure reliable water supplies not only for San Diego County, but across the southwestern U.S by working cooperatively.

“We were able to work out a deal with the Imperial Irrigation District for 200,000 acre-feet of water,” said Madaffer, noting that IID has priority rights to Colorado River water supplies. “How smart to have this insurance policy for the region.”

Madaffer said one of the key efforts ahead is securing storage rights for the San Diego region’s water at Lake Mead, a strategy that could offer benefits to the San Diego region and more broadly across the Southwest by minimizing the chances that Lake Mead will slip in formal shortage status.

Water Authority board chairman Jim Madaffer (right) with John Dadian of the National Albondigas Political Society of San Diego. Photo: Water Authority water supply reliability

Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer (right) with John Dadian of the National Albondigas Political Society of San Diego. Photo: Water Authority

Creative concepts explored to improve water supply reliability

Madaffer also outlined some of the concepts being explored by the Water Authority and its member agencies to improve water supply reliability with more diverse water supply sources, along with engineering and political creative thinking.

Madaffer said the Water Authority’s Board of Directors is considering a study about constructing a regional pipeline system to move the San Diego region’s independent water supplies from the Imperial Valley directly to San Diego. He said the options offer additional advantages to farmers in Imperial County and the Salton Sea.

“I’m a regionalist,” said Madaffer. “I’m interested in what we can do to make sure all of our member agencies are supported, and make sure water delivery works for the entire region.”

Graphic: Water Authority

San Diego is Brought to You by Water

Displaying a chart showing the change in water supply sourcing from 1990 to today, Madaffer asked, “Do we think we can insulate our region from the ravages of drought, so we aren’t depending on pipeline relining and several pipelines delivering imported water?”

He said the region’s approach includes a mix of investments, backed by efforts to use water wisely.

“We’re using less water today with 900,000 more people than we did back in 1990,” said Madaffer, calling it a conservation success story. “All our member agencies, plus each of you in this room, are responsible for helping make it happen.”

Madaffer also touted the region’s innovation culture.  “From Qualcomm to BIOCOM to all of the technology we produce, we are a hotbed of innovation in the region,” he said. “If you remember our drought back in the 1990s, there were states trying to grab our people, saying ‘Hey, work in our state instead, because California is out of water.’ We’ve changed that narrative 100 percent … San Diego is Brought to You by Water.”

San Diego Water Authority’s Jim Madaffer Named To Colorado River Board

Jim Madaffer of the San Diego County Water Authority has been named to the Colorado River Board of California, which represents the state in talks with other states and federal agencies regarding management of the Colorado River.

The appointment was announced Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. Madaffer, 59, is a former San Diego councilman who has been president of Madaffer Enterprises since 2009. Now the chair of the county Water Authority board of directors, he’s a former Jerry Brown appointee to the California Transportation Commission, but resigned in January after becoming chair of the water authority.

$30 Million Salton Sea Bill Passes U.S. House

The United State House of Representative has passed H.R. 2740, an appropriations bill in support of a federal agreement to allot $30 million for projects which would address the environmental and health crisis at the Salton Sea. Included in the Bill is an amendment from Representative Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D – Palm Desert) which would dedicate an added $2 million to stymie the decline of California’s largest lake. “This bill reflects the all-hands-on-deck approach we must take to mitigate and manage the decline of the Salton Sea by investing in our local environment and the health of our children, seniors, and families,”read a statement from Ruiz’s issued in a news release from his office.

Feds Can’t Duck Claims Of Shoddy Review For Desert Water Pipeline

A federal judge indicated Thursday he will advance conservation groups’ claims that a proposed 43-mile groundwater pipeline in a Southern California desert was approved abruptly and without proper environmental review by a federal agency. The Cadiz groundwater pipeline project would move nearly 45 million gallons of water daily for 50 years from an underground aquifer in the Mojave Desert and to cities across Southern California. The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety accuse Cadiz of trying to evade federal laws protecting the fragile desert by planning to build its pipeline along a railroad track that was established under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875.

Top 10 Tips For Saving Water This Summer

The start of summer brings the hottest, driest months of the year in San Diego County and a good time to remind residents of the Top 10 tips for using water more efficiently.Check it out. Inspect irrigation equipment to eliminate overspray. Monitor soil moisture using a spade or soil probe, and only water if the top inch of soil is dry. Irrigate turf if it doesn’t spring back when stepped on. Better yet, upgrade to a “smart” irrigation controller that automatically adjusts water times based on weather conditions.

Paying The Toll On Sea Level Rise

Defending San Diego County against rising seas would cost about $1 billion, according to a new study that estimated that the cost of coastal armoring would be at least $22 billion for California, and more than $400 billion for the United States as a whole. And that’s just a “minimum down payment for short-term defense against rising seas in California,” says the study released today by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Climate Integrity and the environmental engineering firm Resilient Analytics.

 

 

Port of Hueneme Installs Seabin To Clean The Ocean Of Unwanted Litter

Port of Hueneme is taking action to keep their waters clean. The port, over Memorial Day weekend, installed a revolutionary new device, known as a Seabin, to collect trash in the ocean. The Port of Hueneme announced on its official Twitter page: “The Seabin started operation this weekend at the Port – a “trash skimmer” installed in a water body and acting as a floating garbage bin skimming the surface of the water by pumping water into the device. Keeping our waters clean and our environment green!’

Controlled Burns Scheduled For MCAS Miramar

Several controlled burns will take place Thursday at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to help clear brush in the event of a wildfire. The prescribed fires were expected to happen between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., military officials said. Drivers along Interstate 15 and other roads near the base may see smoke and flames. MCAS Miramar Fire Stations 61 and 62, alongside local San Diego fire departments will conduct the burns.

Top 10 Tips for Saving Water This Summer

Top 10 Tips for Saving Water This Summer

The start of summer brings the hottest, driest months of the year in San Diego County and a good time to remind residents of the Top 10 tips for using water more efficiently.

Top 10 tips to use water more efficiently

Check it out. Inspect irrigation equipment to eliminate overspray. Monitor soil moisture using a spade or soil probe, and only water if the top inch of soil is dry. Irrigate turf if it doesn’t spring back when stepped on. Better yet, upgrade to a “smart” irrigation controller that automatically adjusts water times based on weather conditions. Rebates for a variety of irrigation equipment are at WaterSmartSD.org.

Let it sink in. Irrigate mature trees once or twice a month using a soaker hose or drip system toward the edge of the tree canopy – not at the base of the tree. Use a hose faucet timer (found at hardware stores) to prevent overwatering. Young trees need more frequent irrigation; consult an arborist or tree-care manual for details.

Maintain your mulch (and compost). Keeping a 3-inch layer of mulch around trees and plants reduces runoff, helps control weeds and protects soil from direct sunlight and evaporation. Keep mulch at least a foot away from tree trunks and several inches from the crowns of plants. Also, add compost to increase soil nutrients.

Use water efficiently

Drink responsibly. Keep drinking water cool in your refrigerator to avoid running the tap. Use refillable water bottles instead of buying disposable plastic bottles.

Put a lid on it. Pool and spa covers reduce evaporation, lower pool heating costs and keep dirt and other debris out of the pool.

Let your lawn grow

Take a break. New plants need more water to get established, so wait until fall and winter for planting to take advantage of cooler temperatures and rain.

Go to summer school. Get started planning your WaterSmart landscape by surfing WaterSmart Landscaping Videos On Demand from the comfort of your beach chair or sofa.

Let your lawn grow. Set your mower to leave grass at least 3 inches high because taller blades reduce evaporation up to 80 percent and protect roots from heat.

Keep it clean. Patronize car washes that recycle water and save at least 15 gallons each time. When washing at home, use a hose nozzle that shuts off when you release the handle.

Rinse right. Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water instead of in running water. Afterward, pour the collected water on a plant.

More information on how residents and business can use water efficiently, along with rebates, classes and other water-saving resources, at WaterSmartSD.org