All Features

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

Litsa Tzotzolis-Water Utility Hero of the Week-Essential workers

Water Utility Hero of the Week, Litsa Tzotzolis, San Diego County Water Authority

Editor’s Note: This feature highlights water utility employees in the San Diego region working during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a safe, reliable and plentiful water supply. The water industry is among the sectors that are classified as essential. Litsa Tzotzolis, San Diego County Water Authority Public Affairs Representative, is the Water Utility Hero of […]

San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors Chair Jim Madaffer-primary-View from the Chair

Major Water Rate Case Victory; San Diego County is Stronger Together

As you know, the Water Authority has been working for years to conclude lawsuits over rates set by the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – and this week, we have taken a big step forward with the entry of final judgment in two major cases. Yesterday, a Superior Court judge has awarded […]

Emily Castiglione's winning poster She is an eighth grade student at Joan MacQueen Middle School in Alpine. Photo: Padre Dam MWD Water Is Life

Student Art Brings Life to ‘Water Is Life’ Contest

Eight talented East County student artists used their creative skills to depict the importance of water in Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s annual Kids Poster Contest. The theme ‘Water Is Life’ asked students to express the value of water in their lives. They could draw, paint, color, cut, or paste original artwork depicting the theme […]

WaterSmart Irrigation-Rebates-Water Efficiency

Rebates for WaterSmart Irrigation Devices

Rebates for WaterSmart irrigation devices are available in San Diego County to help property owners reduce expenses by improving water efficiency. The rebates, offered for a limited time by the San Diego County Water Authority, provide significant savings on devices for outdoor landscapes. The WaterSmart Contractor Incentive Program, or WSCIP, helps commercial, public and agricultural […]

The beautiful, wheelchair accessible garden inspired by Patricia Wood's daughter Kimberly is the 2020 Otay Water District Landscape Contest winner. Photo: Otay Water District

Accessible Garden Wins Otay Water District WaterSmart Landscape Contest

El Cajon resident Patricia Wood, inspired by her daughter Kimberly, transformed a thirsty lawn into a wheelchair accessible garden, winning “Best in District” in the Otay Water District 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. Wood’s landscape demonstrates a well thought-out design, methods for efficient irrigation, and appropriate plant selection and maintenance. “The one thing that really inspired me […]

A firefighter prepares to access the Meadowlark Reclamation Facility as part of confined space training drills conducted with the Vallecitos Water District. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Vallecitos Water District Recognized for Best Safety Practices

Vallecitos Water District was among 16 California water agencies honored by the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority with the H.R. LaBounty Safety Award. Vallecitos won its award for its Confined Space Rescue Training coordinated with several regional fire agencies in November 2019. Vallecitos Water District wanted to heighten safety awareness and […]

Vibrant pink, orange, purple and red succulents are interspersed among lush rosemary and lavender bushes in this award-winning landscape makeover in Santee. Photo: Padre Dam MWD

Bright Ideas Bring Padre Dam MWD Landscape Contest Winner to Life

Santee homeowners removed grass, replaced the turf with a colorful, WaterSmart landscape, and won a landscape makeover contest too. Melissa and Josh Perrell’s new landscaping at their Santee home is bursting with bright colors. Vibrant pink, orange, purple and red succulents are interspersed among lush rosemary and lavender bushes. Even more impressive, it didn’t take […]

Cuyamaca College’s Water & Wastewater Technology program is the oldest and most comprehensive program of its kind in the California Community Colleges system. Photo: CWEA Open House

Water Studies Open House Keeps Career Pipeline Flowing

In an economy altered by the coronavirus pandemic, water and wastewater industry essential employees remain in demand. To help people explore their career options, the Cuyamaca College Center for Water Studies program will hold its annual Open House and Student Orientation at distance via Zoom on Tuesday, August 11, at 6 p.m. Vanessa Murrell, grant […]

Water Utility Hero of the Week-Otay Water District-Essential Workers

Water Utility Hero of the Week, Dana Gutierrez, Otay Water District

Editor’s Note: This feature highlights water utility employees in the San Diego region working during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a safe, reliable and plentiful water supply. The water industry is among the sectors that are classified as essential. Dana Gutierrez, Otay Water District Customer Service Representative II, is the Water Utility Hero of the […]

The Zeigler family of Vista replaced a labor intensive lawn with a beautiful pollinator friendly landscape to win the 2020 VID Landscape Makeover Contest. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Family Project Wins Vista Irrigation District 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest

Two Vista homeowners received recognition from the Vista Irrigation District Board of Directors for their entries in the District’s 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest at its July board meeting. The annual contest recognizes outstanding waterwise residential landscapes. Winners were selected based on the criteria of overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection, design, appropriate maintenance, and efficient methods […]

The Sweetwater Authority received CAPIO's EPIC Award earlier this month for its innovative communication for the Hydro Station Education Experience. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Sweetwater Authority and Otay Water District Win Statewide Award for Hydro Station Education Experience

The Sweetwater Authority Governing Board on July 22 was presented with the California Association of Public Information Officials Award of Distinction for excellence in public information and communications. As a collaborative project with the Chula Vista Elementary School District, the Sweetwater Authority and the Otay Water District received the award from CAPIO earlier this month […]

Water Utility Hero of the Week-Sandra Louis-Essential Workers

Water Utility Hero of the Week, Sandra Louis, San Diego County Water Authority

Editor’s Note: This feature highlights water utility employees in the San Diego region working during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a safe, reliable and plentiful water supply. The water industry is among the sectors that are classified as essential. Sandra Louis, San Diego County Water Authority Receptionist, is the Water Utility Hero of the Week. […]

San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors Chair Jim Madaffer-primary-View from the Chair

Charting a Long-Term Water Strategy for San Diego County

During my nearly two years as chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors, I have seen firsthand the regional benefits of decisions made by our predecessors to secure water supply reliability. I cannot count the number of times I have been thankful for all the board members, regional stakeholders, staff and supporters in decades […]

Oceanside city leaders and water experts placed a giant Google Maps “location pin” into the ground at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility in February, which officially marked the new recycled water project on the map. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority Oceanside wins

City of Oceanside Wins WateReuse Award of Excellence

The City of Oceanside received an Award of Excellence during the WateReuse Association virtual conference in June 2020. Oceanside received the Recycled Water Agency of the Year for small systems, which recognizes an agency that has developed recycled water, on a significant level, as an alternative water source within their service area, regionally, or statewide. […]

Karmen Isabel Simons, a fourth grade student from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Vista, received first place honors from the District for her entry in the competition. She received a $100 award. Photo: Vista Irrigation District 2020 Student Poster Contest

Vista Irrigation District Names 2020 Student Poster Contest Winners

Vista Irrigation District has presented awards to three artistic fourth-grade students as winners of the District’s 2020 Water Awareness Poster Contest. The District’s board of directors selected the recipients at its July 15 meeting. This is the 28th year of the local contest. This year’s theme was “Love Water, Save Water.” Karmen Isabel Simons, a […]