All Features

Behind-the-scenes stories about regional water issues, projects, and people.

The Nieves family's landscape makeover project won the Sweetwater Authority's contest in 2019. Photo: Sweetwater Authority 2020 landscape makeover

2020 Landscape Makeover Competition Opens Call For Entries

Fourteen water agencies in San Diego County seek the best in landscaping makeover projects for the regional WaterSmart 2020 Landscape Makeover competition. The annual contest offers the opportunity to showcase residential waterwise landscaping as a way to inspire other homeowners to consider replacing water-guzzling turf based designs. The contest deadline for all participating agencies is […]

Carlsbad Desalination Plant-Building-WNN-primary-March 2020

COVID-19: Carlsbad Desal Plant Workers Shelter-in-Place to Keep the Water On

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused companies and organizations around San Diego County to take measures to continue serving the public. As of Friday, 10 workers are quarantined inside the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plan for the next three weeks, monitoring and adjusting gauges and switches, watching for leaks, and doing whatever is needed to […]

Water Treatment Plant-Coronavirus-WNN-primary

San Diego Region’s Water Supplies Safe to Drink

The San Diego region’s water supplies remain safe to drink. The San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have increased regional coordination and communication to ensure the coronavirus pandemic does not impact safe and secure water service for San Diego County. Public water supplies in the San Diego region remain safe to […]

If your cat is using the kitchen faucet as a water fountain, you might need to fix a leak during Fix-A-Leak Week 2020. Photo: Stratman2/Pixabay

Take Ten Minutes to Track Down Leaks During Fix-A-Leak Week 2020

Easily fixed water leaks in American households account for nearly one trillion gallons of water wasted annually. The average household leaks nearly 10,000 gallons of water every year. This would wash 300 loads of laundry and could cost you an additional 10% on your water bill. Fix-A-Leak Week 2020 is March 16-22. It was created […]

1st Place, “Blessed Stream,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10 winning photos

Sweetwater Authority Displays Winning Photos at Board Reception

Ten South Bay area high school students were honored for their winning photos at the March 11 Sweetwater Authority Governing Board meeting. Nearly 100 students from Sweetwater’s service area entered its annual water photo contest, which challenges students to showcase the importance of water in everyday life through photography. Students submitted photos in two categories. […]

Inspired by the San Diego County Water Authority's free landscape makeover classes, Vallecitos Water District employee Eileen Koonce transformed her own landscaping. Photo: Vallecitos Water District example watersmart landscaping

Vallecitos Water District Employee Leads By Example With WaterSmart Landscaping Makeover

Vallecitos Water District Development Services Coordinator Eileen Koonce transformed the front yard at her new home into a beautiful water-efficient design with help from the San Diego County Water Authority’s Landscape Makeover Program. As a new homeowner, when Koonce received her first water bill, she decided to figure out a way to reduce her water […]

Water Authority Board Honors Retiring Otay Water District GM Mark Watton

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday honored Otay Water District General Manager Mark Watton for 37 years of public service in the water industry. The Board issued a proclamation congratulating Watton on “his long and distinguished service to San Diego County upon his upcoming retirement from the Otay Water District” […]

Native plants can add beautiful color to your sustainable landscape, while attracting pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. Image: Water Authority

Design a Native Garden

If you haven’t finished planting your sustainable garden yet this year, you still have some time. Choose native plants that will thrive in the arid San Diego County climate. Native plants are naturally drought-tolerant. They also support local ecosystems by providing food and habitat for pollinators, such as butterflies and hummingbirds. Native plants can fall […]

(L to R) Kristy MacDougall representing Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, Aaron Andrews representing State Senator Brian Jones, Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District Board Member Diana Towne, VWD Director Mike Sannella, VWD Director Jim Hernandez, Rainbow Municipal Water District General Manager Tom Kennedy, Jordan Chan, CSDA Senior Public Affairs Field Coordinator Chris Palmer, San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, VWD Director Hal Martin, VWD Director Craig Elitharp.

San Marcos Student Jordan Chan Wins Statewide Video Contest

Mission Hills High School student Jordan Chan of San Marcos won third-place in the statewide 2020 California Special Districts Association video scholarship competition. The “Districts Make The Difference” contest is designed to promote public awareness and understanding of the special districts providing communities with essential services like water, sanitation, healthcare, fire protection, and parks. Chan […]

Two of the many happy Kids Fishing Day participants show off their catches. Photo: Lake Jennings

Lake Jennings Hosts Kids Fishing Day

Hundreds of pounds of rainbow trout were biting for participants on Saturday during the sixth annual Kids Fishing Day at Lake Jennings in Lakeside. The event started in 2015 has been an annual highlight ever since its inception. Kids ages 9 and under fished for free all day Saturday at the Kids Pond, which is […]

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Jose Martinez Appointed General Manager of the Otay Water District

The Otay Water District Board of Directors February 6 voted unanimously to appoint Assistant Chief of Water Operations Jose Martinez as the new general manager of the District. The Board announced they will negotiate contract terms and vote on those terms at the March 11 Board meeting. “Jose will be an asset to the District […]

Anahy Ambriz of Maie Ellis Elementary won first place in the 2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar contest.

Student Artwork Featured in 2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar

Talented fourth-graders from Fallbrook area elementary schools picked up their pens, crayons, and watercolors to create the best and brightest water-conservation posters for the Fallbrook Public Utility District 2020 “Be Water Smart” calendar. Out of the 250 posters submitted, the work of 14 artists was selected. Twelve of the winning images appear inside the calendar, […]

State Sen. Toni Atkins receives CMUA Safe Drinking Water Champion Award January 27, 2020 in Sacramento

Atkins Receives Safe Drinking Water Champion Award

California State Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins of San Diego on Monday received the 2019 Safe Drinking Water Champion Award from the California Municipal Utilities Association in Sacramento. “The award recognizes Senator Atkins’ leadership to work collaboratively with her colleagues in the Senate, Assembly and Governor’s office in securing funding for communities that do […]

Set yourself up for landscaping success by building the best foundation in your soil structure. Photo: walkersalmanac/Pixabay

Take a Test to Determine Your Soil Type

If you put a shovel into the ground in San Diego County, you are likely to encounter the region’s impermeable soil structure. Impermeable soils are defined by poor infiltration areas. This means water doesn’t flow through the soil to replenish groundwater, because the soil is too dense. Having impermeable soil also means water does not […]

Laboratory Superintendent Nicki Branch (far left) and employees of the Escondido Water Quality Lab, one of only two certified labs in California under new standards. Photo: City of Escondido

Escondido Water Quality Lab Leads By Example

California’s 600 certified water quality testing labs will face strict new accreditation standards in the near future. While final hearings still need to take place on the draft regulations before adoption, the City of Escondido Water Quality Lab isn’t waiting. Escondido is working now to adopt the anticipated regulations. Escondido is one of only two […]