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CWA Ratifies Contracts, Accepts Notice of Completion for Pipeline 5 Repairs

Eventually the San Diego County Water Authority will develop and implement a long-term fix for the vulnerability of the three SDCWA pipelines in Moosa Canyon, but the short-term fix for Pipeline 5 is now complete.

A unanimous CWA board vote, Thursday, May 28, ratified four contracts approved administratively by CWA General Manager Sandra Kerl and authorized Kerl to accept the work as complete.

“Earlier this month, in May, we shut down Pipeline 5 to remove the bulkheads and we resumed normal operations on May 8,” Neena Kuzmich, engineering manager of CWA, said.

LAFCO Approves Detachment Review Committee

San Diego’s County’s Local Agency Formation Commission approved a committee to review issues regarding the proposed detachment of the Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District from the San Diego County Water Authority.

An 8-0 LAFCO board vote June 1 approved the composition of the committee, although LAFCO executive officer Keene Simonds will appoint the specific members and the list of tasks for the committee.

“We have agreement with the County Water Authority, Rainbow and Fallbrook,” said county supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is the chair of the LAFCO board.

“We have consensus on the tasks. I think we have a working agreement on the composition,” Simonds said.

CWA Sets June 25 Rate Hearing

The San Diego County Water Authority hearing to approve calendar year 2021 rates and charges will be June 25.

The May 28 motion to set the rate hearing date along with the proposed rates and charges passed with 78.139% of the SDCWA weighted vote. Twenty-one CWA board members supported the motion. Fallbrook Public Utility District general manager Jack Bebee, who is also FPUD’s representative on the CWA board, cast one of the eight votes against the action. Tom Kennedy, who is the Rainbow Municipal Water District general manager and Rainbow’s CWA representative, abstained as did Lois Fong-Sakai, who is one of the city of San Diego’s representatives on the CWA board.

A non-voting presentation earlier in the day addressed proposed changes to the CWA’s two-year budget which covers fiscal year 2019-2020 and fiscal year 2020-2021; the June 25 CWA board meeting will also include consideration of the budget adjustments. If the rates and charges are approved June 25, the action will also allocate the pro-rata shares of total fixed charges to each CWA member agency.

Opinion: Beyond COVID and Social Unrest, Valley’s Big Problem Remains Declining Groundwater

In these extraordinary times, managing groundwater for long-term sustainability may not seem like a top priority. But in the San Joaquin Valley — where groundwater supplies have been declining for decades — excess pumping is a critical problem, with major implications for public health, jobs, the environment and local economies.

The state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires groundwater planning and actions to sustain this vital resource. Agencies from California’s 21 “critically overdrafted” basins — including 11 large basins that span most of the San Joaquin Valley floor — submitted their first groundwater plans in January.

Vallecitos Water District Employs Technology to Decrease TSS, pH and Algal Blooms

Vallecitos Water District provides 5.25 million gallons of recycled water for irrigation every day. To fulfill the demands of modern irrigation systems, it is important to maintain low TSS levels. This is a challenge during the warm months in California, as algae that occur with raising temperatures, increase the level of TSS and clog the filters that are meant to remove TSS before the distribution of water to the irrigation systems.

Vallecitos Water District is known for its’ sustainable and innovative focus when it comes to water and wastewater treatment.

FPUD Board Tours Conjunctive Use Project Sites

The five Fallbrook Public Utility District board members were given a tour of FPUD’s Santa Margarita Conjunctive Use Project sites May 29.

Because a majority of the FPUD board members were present, it was legally required to be a noticed public hearing and the tour was officially a special meeting of the FPUD board. Although members of the public were welcome to attend they would have been required to remain in their own cars or trucks due to the coronavirus quarantine, but they would have been able to hear the audio communications.

Rainbow Approves Application to LAFCO to Annex Meadowood

The April meeting of the Rainbow Municipal Water District board included an out-of-agency service agreement for Rainbow to serve Pardee Homes’ Meadowood development, which is currently within the boundaries of the Valley Center Municipal Water District. The May 26 Rainbow board meeting included a 4-0 vote, with Helene Brazier not able to participate in the meeting, to submit an application to annex the Meadowood area.

The motion directed Rainbow general manager Tom Kennedy to prepare and submit an application to San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission to annex the Meadowood land. The April 28 action included direction to district staff to prepare an application to LAFCO, and a preliminary application was presented to the board for the May 26 meeting.