Facilities and Operations

News on the processes, people, and places working to deliver a safe and reliable wholesale water supply to the San Diego region’s 24 member water agencies.

Watershed areas such as the land around the El Capitan Reservoir was assessed in the 2020 Watershed Survey by the City of San Diego. Photo: City of San Diego

Watershed Survey Helps Maintain San Diego Regional Water Quality

The City of San Diego Public Utilities Department conducts regular surveys of its watersheds to monitor and maintain high water quality within those watersheds. The City recently released its 2020 Watershed Sanitary Survey. Conducted and issued every five years since 1996 as required by California law, the report identifies actual or potential causes of local […]

Hooded mergansers glide across Sweetwater Reservoir. Photo: Sweetwater Authority Reservoirs

Sweetwater Authority Reservoirs Provide Safe Public Recreation 

One year into the coronavirus pandemic, San Diego County’s reservoirs and lakes have provided welcome opportunities for safe, accessible outdoor family recreation. After shutting down in March 2020, facilities began to slowly reopen through the summer months by carefully implementing safety guidelines, including increased sanitation, social distancing, and restricted attendance to allow San Diegans to […]

USBR Grants-water efficiency-WaterSMART grants

Over $2.7 Million in Federal Grants Awarded to San Diego Water Agencies

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded three San Diego County water agencies a total of $2,788,500 in 2021 WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants. A total of $42.4 million in grants was given to 55 projects across 13 states to improve water reliability and efficiency, conserving more 98,000 acre-feet of water per year. “The […]

Desalination plant-credit ratings-water supply

Credit Agencies Affirm Water Authority’s Strong Ratings Despite Headwinds

All three major rating agencies – S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch – have affirmed the San Diego County Water Authority’s strong credit ratings, which will help the Water Authority optimize its debt portfolio and minimize the cost of financing important water reliability projects. The reports cited the Water Authority’s strategic management, its conservative approach to water […]

Naturalists Paige DeCino (left) and Karen Merrill survey South Lake Reservoir. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Volunteers Offer Birds Eye View at South Lake Reservoir

For decades, it was a source of drinking water for the San Marcos area. Today, the South Lake Reservoir has new life as a local wildlife habitat. South Lake was built with an earthen dam and provided drinking water to the Lake San Marcos area, most of downtown San Marcos, and the Coronado Hills area. […]

The City of San Diego's aggressive maintenance program has resulted in fewer water main breaks in 2020. Photo: City of San Diego

Water Main Breaks Decline in San Diego for Fourth Year in a Row

Increased maintenance efforts by the City of San Diego of its water system infrastructure is paying off for ratepayers. For the fourth year in a row, the number of water main breaks has decreased in the City of San Diego. Thirty-three water main breaks were reported in 2020, the lowest total in more than 15 […]

Helix Water District-Demonstration Landscape-WaterSmart

Helix Water District Demonstration Landscape Blossoms

The plants are thriving at Helix Water District’s demonstration landscape just eight months after the project was completed. The WaterSmart plants at the District’s administration office in La Mesa beautify the neighorhood while inspiring people to install sustainable, WaterSmart landscaping. “Everything is growing in beautifully,” said Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo. “We started […]

Regular valve maintenance prevents unanticipated shutdowns of water service to Vallecitos Water District customers. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Vallecitos Water District Valve Maintenance Program Ensures Reliable Service

Just as owners perform routine maintenance to keep their cars running smoothly, water systems need regular maintenance to provide reliable service. The Vallecitos Water District’s Valve Maintenance Program ensures these vital components in its water distribution remain in good working condition throughout the District. Valves left without proper maintenance for long periods can become a […]

Crews work on First Aqueduct Rehabilitation.

Major Rehabilitation of First Aqueduct Complete

The San Diego County Water Authority recently completed a major rehabilitation project on the historic First Aqueduct in North San Diego County. The project renovated and replaced dozens of structures on two large-diameter pipelines, including the historic Pipeline 1. Pipeline 1 delivered the first imported water to the San Diego region in 1947 and remains […]

San Diego County Water Authority-Building at night-MWD

Water Authority Prevails in Rate Litigation

The San Francisco Superior Court has ruled the San Diego County Water Authority is the prevailing party in the agency’s first two lawsuits to be heard challenging rates and charges set by the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The order entitles the Water Authority to recover its attorneys’ fees and costs in […]

Mission Trails FRS II water project construction

FRS II: Mission Trails Water Project Takes Shape

When looking from the right vantage point towards Mission Trails Regional Park, a brown hill can be seen. This is the San Diego County Water Authority’s Mission Trails Flow Regulatory Structure II Project, or FRS II, under construction. Once complete, the dirt hill will be leveled to its previous contours and revegetated with native plants […]

Night construction is underway for the Pure Water Oceanside project including well drilling. Photo: City of Oceeanside

Pure Water Oceanside Installing New Pipelines and Drilling Wells

Pure Water Oceanside is installing new pipelines and drilling wells as the recycled water project continues on track for completion in 2022. The advanced water purification project, and expansion of the City of Oceanside’s existing recycled water system, will deliver a new, local source of high-quality drinking water supplying more than 30% of the city’s […]

A happy Lake Jennings angler shows off his rainbow trout prize during the fall season opening weekend. Photo: Lake Jennings trout season

Lake Jennings Trout Season Opening A Success

Lake Jennings, the Helix Water District reservoir in Lakeside, is one of San Diego County’s hot spots for trout fishing, ranked second in the county by SDFish.com. The 2020 fall trout fishing season got underway on November 20, with enthusiastic anglers enjoying safe outdoor recreation with pandemic precautions in place. “It’s one of those family […]

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Sam Pacheco is one of 15 Helix Water District employees who are military veterans. Photo: Water Authority Veterans Day

Veterans Day Salute to San Diego Water Industry Vets

Many of the San Diego region’s 4,500 water and wastewater workers are military veterans. The San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies are recognizing those veteran water industry professionals this week in honor of Veterans Day. One of those water industry employees with a military background is Sam Pacheco, a field service […]

Drinking Water Reservoir

Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir to Improve Water Reliability

The San Diego County Water Authority is gearing up to construct a 2.1 million-gallon drinking water reservoir on the Valley Center Pipeline to enhance service reliability throughout the region. The Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir project in northern San Diego County is part of the Water Authority’s Capital Improvement Program. Construction work is scheduled to begin […]