Supply and Demand

News updates on the regional water supply and water use, including current reports, future projections, and long-term planning.

Report credits San Diego County Water Authority for providing regional water solutions which include storing water in Lake Mead. Photo: National Park Service

OPINION: San Diego Is Ready For Some Big Water Solutions

Back in the early 1990s — near the start of my career at San Diego City Hall — the San Diego County Water Authority launched a historic effort to sustain the region’s economy and quality of life by diversifying our water supplies so that we didn’t depend on one source for 95 percent of our […]

As a result of the atmospheric river weather phenomenon, California has experienced higher than average rainfall in water year 2019. Graphic: National Weather Service

Atmospheric Rivers Benefit State, Regional Water Supply

Atmospheric river events in late January and in February have significantly increased snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains, key sources of water supply for the state and San Diego County. “We’re thrilled by the amount of precipitation – rain and snow – in San Diego County, the Sierra and the Rockies,” said […]

A snow-covered Sierra Nevada Mountain peak to the northwest from the Phillips Station meadow season. Photo: Dale Kolke / California Department of Water Resources snowmelt

Report: Shorter Winters Could Impact Snowpack and Water Supply

New research shows shorter periods of winter weather are altering snowpack melt times, with potentially significant implications for water management and wildfires. Associate Professor Amato Evan at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography analyzed snowpack data from 1982 through 2017, publishing his analysis in the December Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, and presenting […]

The California Department of Water Resources conducted the second snow survey of the 2019 season at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The survey site is approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento in El Dorado County. Photo: Florence Low / California Department of Water Resources.

Mid-Winter Storms Drench California, Boost Sierra Snowpack

A remarkable series of winter storms in January and early February has doubled the Sierra Nevada snowpack and recharged reservoirs across the state of California. With more rain and snow in the forecast, California’s water supply picture is far better than it was a year ago, when San Diego received the second-lowest amount of rainfall […]

L to R: Water Authority Deputy General Manager Sandra Kerl, Poseidon Water CEO Carlos Riva, and former Senator Barbara Boxer share a toast at Thursday's third anniversary event at the Carlsbad desalination plant. Photo: Water Authority

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Celebrates 40 Billion Gallons Served

San Diego County marked a significant milestone in regional water supply reliability Thursday at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant – the delivery of 40 billion gallons of drinking water during its first three years of commercial operations. This is enough water to fill 800 million bathtubs, or 1,820 Bellagio Las Vegas fountains. The […]

San Diego’s airport reported 3.98 inches of rain between the start of the 2019 water year on Oct. 1 and Dec. 7, according to the National Weather Service. Photo: James Arnott, Flickr/Creative Commons License Wat

Late-Fall Storms Improve Water Outlook Statewide

San Diego welcomed an unexpectedly large amount of rain since mid-November, surpassing last year’s rainfall total in just the first 10 weeks of the season. Following the latest storm, two-day precipitation totals on Dec. 7 showed rainfall of 2.6 inches at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field, San Diego’s official weather station. Regional readings ranged from a […]

Water reliability is vital to the region’s core industries including craft brewing. Photo: Water Authority Outreach program

Airport Ads Remind Travelers San Diego Is Brought To You By Water

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Brought to You by Water outreach and education program made its debut on advertising monitors at Lindbergh Field the day before Thanksgiving – just in time for the busy holiday travel season. Through the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s community promotion program, the ads are expected to remain […]

Check irrigation systems when changing the clocks on Sunday November 4. Photo: Kelly M. Grow/ California Department of Water Resources daylight savinig time

Fall Back and Save Water As Clocks Change

Whether you are excited about an extra hour of sleep or dour about losing an hour of sunlight at the end of the day, daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 4. The annual adjustment is a great reminder to perform several important household tasks, such as replacing smoke alarm batteries and restocking emergency preparedness kits. […]

NOAA's three month weather outlook predicting the amount of rainfall across the U.S. Map: NOAA.gov

Water Supplies Sufficient for 2019 Demands Despite Hot, Dry Weather

At the start of the 2019 water year, the combination of diversified water supplies and water-use efficiency means the San Diego region has enough water for 2019 and the foreseeable future despite historically low rainfall over the past 12 months. “It has been very hot and dry, but we have invested wisely in infrastructure and […]

The San Diego County Water Authority presented its inaugural Water Innovation & Efficiency Award to Kyocera. Photo: Water Authority

Kyocera First Recipient of New Water Authority Award

In an effort to remind regional stakeholders in the business community about the importance of water to San Diego’s regional economy, the San Diego County Water Authority presented its inaugural ‘Water Innovation & Efficiency Award’ to Kyocera International during the Industrial Environmental Association’s 34th annual conference at the San Diego Convention Center on September 28. […]

Efficiencies Lower Long-Term Water Demand Forecast for San Diego Region

Updated water-use projections for the San Diego region through 2040 are substantially lower than earlier forecasts due to efficiencies that have become standard practice at homes and businesses countywide. That’s good news because it signals the potential for lower spending on water supply development and delivery in coming decades compared to previous forecasts. The revised […]

Attendees sign the "Brought To You By Water" symbolic beach ball, naming summer activities that rely on a safe and reliable water supply. Photo: Water Authority. Brought To You

First Day of Summer ‘Brought To You’ By New Water Authority Education Campaign

Dozens of partners from the San Diego region’s second largest industry, tourism, joined the San Diego County Water Authority for a special event aboard the USS Midway on the first day of summer, June 21, kicking off a new education and outreach campaign called ‘Brought To You By Water.’ The Water Authority program underscores the […]

Lake Mead and Lake Powell – which provide storage for the Lower Basin states of Nevada, Arizona and California – are about 51 percent full. Photo: SDCWA Drought Talks

Bureau Executive Makes Case for Renewing Drought Talks in Colorado Basin

El Centro, Calif. – U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda W. Burman delivered a sobering message about the risks facing the Colorado River system and the need for action considering long-term drought conditions during an Imperial Irrigation District Board meeting on May 22. In her first presentation to the IID Board of Directors since her […]

Karla Nemeth, Director of the California Department of Water Resources, left, Cindy Messer, Chief Deputy Director (DWR), center, assists Frank Gehrke, Chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, with the fourth snow survey of 2018 at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The survey site is approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento off Highway 50 in El Dorado County. Photo: Dale Kolke / California Department of Water Resources

San Diego County Water Supplies Sufficient Despite Low Snowpack

San Diego County has secured sufficient water supplies for 2018 and beyond despite below-average, low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada at the start of April when the snowpack typically peaks. The April 2 survey by the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program showed water content in the snowpack statewide increased from 23 percent of average on […]

Region’s Farms Get Help Boosting Water Efficiency

Agriculture is a rich part of San Diego County’s heritage and foundational piece of the region’s economy, but it’s not easy to make a go of farming here given the hilly terrain, uneven soils and limited natural water supplies.