All Features

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

Avoiding invasive plant species, removing dead leaves and branches, and planting native plants can protect your landscape and home from wildfires. Photo: azboomer/Pixabay

Firefighting with Plants

Wildfire is a constant threat in Southern California. But there are ways you can protect your landscape and home using native, fire-resistant plants. Plan your landscaping in three zones Zone 1: Help your landscape resist fires by choosing smart designs and fire-resistant plants. The first zone should provide 35 feet of defensible space around structures and […]

How Much Water Do Plants Need?

It’s important to assess how much water your outdoor plants need to stay healthy. The heat and humidity in San Diego County is far from over, with the official start of Fall September 23. Irrigation needs are generally highest during these warm months. Did you know that plants can be classified by their water needs? […]

(L to R) Helix WD employees John Wilson, Eric Hughes, Dan Baker and Bryan Watte, and Padre Dam MWD workers Jesse Knowles and Austin Darley. Photo: Helix Water District Paradise Irrigation District

San Diego Water Pros Aid Paradise Irrigation District Following Camp Fire

Six water professionals from the Helix Water District and Padre Dam Municipal Water District spent one week in August assisting the Paradise Irrigation District with disaster recovery in the wake of the devastating Camp Fire. The Camp Fire burned through the town of Paradise, California in November 2018. CAL FIRE reported the fire burned 153,336 […]

Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes (sixth from left) leads the official groundbreaking for the college's Ornamental Horticulture renovation project on August 22. Photo: Cuyamaca College

Ornamental Horticulture Groundbreaking Cultivates Career Opportunities

With the turn of 11 gleaming shovels, groundbreaking took place on August 22 for a $16.7 million project to renovate and improve indoor and outdoor classrooms and facilities for Cuyamaca College’s Ornamental Horticulture program. Thousands of students have graduated from the program since its launch in 1980. Many have gone on to careers in landscape […]

Chula Vista fifth graders enjoy their first visit to the new Hydro Station educational facility. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

New Educational Hydro Station Project Opens in Chula Vista

The first Hydro Station in California opened August 15 in Chula Vista. The interactive educational space is a joint partnership between the Sweetwater Authority, Otay Water District, and the Chula Vista Elementary School District. The Hydro Station, at the Richard A. Reynolds Groundwater Desalination Facility, features learning exhibits and hands-on activities to introduce fifth grade […]

Design a Landscape to Live In

As summer winds down and the days get shorter, it’s a great time to start planning for a landscape makeover. The Water Authority offers free landscape makeover classes to help you get started. Resources include a site visit from a landscape specialist, a professionally-drawn site plan, and one-on-one coaching. Cooler fall weather is an ideal […]

The 2017 Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival at The Water Conservation Garden. Photo: Water Conservation Garden

Water Conservation Garden Awarded SDG&E Environmental Champion Grant

The Water Conservation Garden’s Ms. Smarty-Plants program received a $25,000 Environmental Champion Grant in June from SDG&E. The award comes as The Garden, at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, celebrates its 20th anniversary. “SDG&E has been a long-time supporter of The Garden and its innovative Ms. Smarty-Plants education program,” said Jennifer Pillsbury, executive director/CEO of […]

Mary Maciel learns good safety practices as part of her summer internship with the Fallbrook Public Utility District. Photo: FPUD Water industry career opportunities

Fallbrook High School Summer Intern Learns About Water Industry Career Opportunities

The Fallbrook Public Utility District’s intern program is designed to prepare potential future employees to fill jobs that open up due to the ‘silver tsunami’ or wave of retirements in the water industry. Mary Maciel, a junior at Fallbrook High, is Fallbrook Public Utility District’s second paid summer intern. She spends four hours a day each […]

Third grader Jeeanna Mendoza fro, Camarena Elementary School, won first place in the Otay Water District student poster contest in the K-3 category. Photo: Otay Water District

Otay Student Poster Contest Winners Illustrate Importance of Water-Use Efficiency

Six talented elementary school students were recognized on August 7 by the Otay Water District Board of Directors as the winners of the District’s “Water is Life” Student Poster Contest. As one of the Otay Water District’s educational programs, the contest offers an opportunity for students to showcase their creativity while reflecting on the importance […]

Sometimes improving your water efficiency is as simple as changing a few old habits. Photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pixabay

Indoor Water Efficiency at No Cost

There are many ways to use water more efficiently indoors, and a lot of these are completely free! You don’t have to go through the expense of replacing appliances or installing new ones to improve indoor water efficiency. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing a few old water usage habits. Here are some easy ways […]

Sweetwater Authority Utility Worker II Julio Salazar's innovative new tool won recognition from the Association of California Water Agencies. Photo: Sweetwater Authority Sweetwater Authority employee

Award-Winning, Time-Saving Tool Created by Sweetwater Authority Employee

For his initiative in designing and creating a new tool designed to improve safety and efficiency on the job, Sweetwater Authority employee Julio Salazar won the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority  H.R. LaBounty Safety Award. The award recognized Salazar for creating a ‘Large AMS Stabilizing Tool.’ Salazar’s design resulted in making […]

The Nieves family of Bonita are the winners of the Sweetwater Authority's 2019 Landscape Makeover Contest for theier creative WaterSmart landscaping design. Photo: Sweetwater Authority Creative WaterSmart Landscaping

Creative WaterSmart Landscaping Wins Sweetwater Authority’s 2019 Landscape Contest

Bonita residents Efren and Ily Niervas won the Sweetwater Authority 2019 Landscape Contest after transforming their front yard from a traditional thirsty expanse of lawn to a WaterSmart landscaping approach. When the Niervas moved to their home in 2017, they realized the cost of watering their yard, with a large lawn and assorted shrubbery, was […]

Establishing unique partnerships with leading technology providers, such as Pure Technologies, has ensured the best available tools are used in the most cost-effective way. Photo: Water Authority

Proactive Partnerships Keep Pipelines in Top Shape

This summer, the Water Authority is partnering with three technology companies to test the condition of the agency’s oldest pipelines forming the First Aqueduct in Valley Center. Technology providers test their new and improved tools on Water Authority and member agency pipes. The tools are then used to assess the condition of those same pipes. […]

Vallecitos Water District contest winners are honored at the July board L to R: Sierra Whiteside, Zofia Dowd. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

San Diego County Students Inspire Water Conservation Through Art

Three talented fourth grade students in north San Diego County will have their winning drawings featured in the 2020 “Be Water Smart” calendar produced by the Vallecitos Water District. The students were honored by the District’s Board of Directors at its July meeting. To develop and promote water conservation awareness from an early age, the […]

The winning water sample was taken directly from the Richard A. Reynolds Desalination Facility, the same water provided to its customers. Photo: Sweetwater Authority Bset Tasting Water Award

Sweetwater Authority Wins ‘Best Tasting Membrane Water’ Award

The Sweetwater Authority Governing Board was presented with the Southwest Membrane Operators Association (SWMOA) ‘Best Tasting Membrane Water in the Southwest Region Award’ at its July 24 board meeting. The award recognizes the Authority’s Richard A. Reynolds Desalination Facility as the winner of the Best Tasting Membrane Water Competition held during the SWMOA Annual Symposium […]