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Helix Water District Adds New Assistant General Manager Position

Helix Water District has added a new tier of management to help oversee its more than 277,000 East County customers.

The district’s five-person board last week approved the creation of an assistant general manager position, bringing the number of employees to 151 in the district, which has an $80 million budget.

District spokesperson Mike Uhrhammer said Helix created the new position as part of its succession plan following the anticipated retirement of current general manager Carlos Lugo.

Water News Network is Best Public Website for 4th Consecutive Year

The Water News Network was awarded first place as the Best Public Service or Consumer Advocacy Website in the 48th annual San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards. It’s the fourth consecutive year the WNN website has won first place in that category. The award was announced during a virtual ceremony on October 25. Last year the California Public Information Officers Organization, or CAPIO, named the WNN the “Best Website” among California public agencies.

California May Soon Impose New Water Restrictions. Here’s What That Means in San Diego.

San Diegans could be forgiven for not knowing how seriously to take California’s current drought.

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency last week, reiterating a desire that urban water users from San Diego to Sacramento voluntarily cut consumption by 15 percent. That would bring water use back down to roughly where it was in 2016, after then-Gov. Jerry Brown issued the state’s first-ever mandatory drought restrictions.

Opinion: Why San Diego County Should Be Spared Mandatory California Water Cutbacks

Mandatory water cutbacks sure seem inevitable, even imminent, in California, by the numbers, by the images of emptying reservoirs, by the arc of history.

California just had its hottest summer on record, tying the 1936 Dust Bowl summer with average temperatures 2.6 degrees above normal. California also just had its second driest water year on record and worst since 1924, with just 11.87 inches of rain and snow statewide, about half the average. And California is in its second-worst year ever for wildfire damage, with nearly 2.5 million acres burned as of this month. The only worse year for that? 2020.

Imagine A Day Without Water

San Diego County residents joined Americans across the country marking Thursday, October 21 as “Imagine A Day Without Water.” The nationwide awareness campaign offered opportunities to learn about our nation’s water systems and the hard work that goes into ensuring a day without water doesn’t become a reality for their community. The Vallecitos Water District partnered with the City of San Marcos to promote water conservation with a new video.

Oceanside Wins Top Award From Watereuse California

The City of Oceanside won an Award of Excellence for its recycled water outreach and education program on its water purification project, called Pure Water Oceanside, at the recent WateReuse California annual conference.

The award recognizes the city’s community outreach on the benefits of water reuse and its furthering of water recycling through its Pure Water Oceanside project.

The project, billed as the first fully operational indirect potable reuse project in San Diego County, is expected to provide about a third of Oceanside’s water supply.

‘Atmospheric River’ to Bring Heavy Rain to Much of California Starting on Sunday

An “atmospheric river” stretching across the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to central and northern California starting on Sunday, with San Diego experiencing lighter precipitation on Monday.

The National Weather Service expects between 2 and 5 inches of badly needed rain in the higher elevations of Northern California with flash flooding possible.

Water Authority Prepares for First Level of Shortage Contingency Plan

The San Diego County Water Authority is preparing to activate a voluntary conservation of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan in support of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts to sustain California’s water supply after two record-dry years.

The agency’s 36-member board of directors will decide at its formal monthly meeting on Oct. 28 whether to activate the drought response plan, following Wednesday’s recommendation by staff.

Joint Project by Olivenhain MWD and City of Encinitas Reaches Final Phase

The El Camino Real Potable Water Pipeline Replacement and Green Bike Lane Striping Project has reached its final stage. After the Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board approved filing of a notice of completion for the pipeline portion of the project, the City of Encinitas will finish restoring the street and complete new bike lane striping. The original pipelines were installed in 1961 and 1974 and fast approaching the end of their lifespan.

San Diego County’s Top Water Officials Call for Cutting Water Use 10%

Top officials with the San Diego County Water Authority on Wednesday called for the region to voluntarily cut its water use by as much as 10 percent.

The announcement by the region’s wholesaler comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday declared a statewide drought emergency. The state has been calling on urban water users for the last two months to voluntarily slash consumption by 15 percent — 5 percent more than the Water Authority’s new target.

The state slashed water use by 5 percent in August compared with the same month last year. But there were large disparities. While the North Coast cut its use by more than 18 percent and the San Francisco Bay Area by nearly 10 percent, Southern California as a whole reduced its water consumption by just 3 percent.