All Features

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

Second place winner Kylie Barbosa created a colorful illustration of bright flowers surrounded by a rainbow and multi-colored rain drops. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District water awareness poster contest

Fourth Grade Artists Win Water Awareness Poster Contest

Three fourth grade student artists were honored by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board of Directors at its September 9 meeting as the winners of the District’s 2020 Water Awareness Poster Contest. This year’s theme asked students to illustrate how they “Love Water, Save Water.” The district annually invites fourth-grade students living or attending school […]

First place, High Schools: Sofia Perez Valles, 12th Grade, Olympian High School. Photo: Otay WD poster contest

Otay Water District Poster Contest Winners Illustrate Water-Use Efficiency

Six student artists from schools in the Otay Water District’s service area were named as winners of the district’s 2020 Water is Life Student Poster Contest. Entries were selected as those best demonstrating creativity and awareness of water-use efficiency through art. The annual contest is one of many educational programs offered by the district as […]

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

Help Us Reduce Water Rates

As my two-year term as the Water Authority Board chair winds down, it’s my pleasure to update you on two important efforts that are underway for the betterment of the San Diego region. First of all, our Board voted unanimously last week to spend a few more months discussing and assessing a study of a […]

The winning landscape makeover features a lush palette of plants in place of a thirsty lawn. Photo: City of Escondido waterwise landscaping

Waterwise Landscaping Blooms in Escondido

A lush native garden low on water use but not on style won first place in the City of Escondido’s 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. To encourage customers to reduce outdoor water use, the City of Escondido recognizes its customers whose yards best exhibit the beauty of California-friendly, low-water gardening in the annual competition. Winners Todd […]

A new County of San Diego online resource can help you protect watershed by diverting it from the storm drain system. Photo: NIH.gov

San Diego County Website Helps Residents Protect Watershed

Because San Diego County gets so little natural rainfall, most residents must artificially irrigate their landscaping. Rainfall becomes a welcome sight when it occurs. But rainfall turns into an unwelcome problem when it enters the storm drain system. After the first heavy rain in several months, stormwater runoff gathers pollutants building up on surfaces like […]

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 […]