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First Place winner: John Wozny, “Casting A Sunset.” Photo: Helix Water District Lake Jennings 2022

Lake Jennings 2022 Spring Photo Contest Winners Depict Lake Activities

Sunsets, wildlife, and family fun inspired the winning photos in the 2022 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest, held by the Helix Water District. Winners were named this week and recognized at the June Governing Board meeting.

The water district offers two yearly contests to connect with their customers and recognize their achievements.

Now in its 11th year, the contest drew 47 entries from throughout San Diego County. This year’s entries highlighted the unique beauty of camping, fishing, hiking, spotting wildlife, and enjoying the view at Lake Jennings. The contest was open for photos taken between March 1 and May 31, 2022. The following photographers took top honors.

2022 Spring Photo Contest Adult Category

First Place winner: John Wozny, “Casting A Sunset.” Photo: Helix Water District Lake Jennings 2022

First Place: John Wozny, “Casting A Sunset.” Photo: Helix Water District

 

Second Place winner: Crystian Baird, “No Shoes, No Problem.” Photo: Helix Water District Lake Jennings 2022

Second Place: Crystian Baird, “No Shoes, No Problem.” Photo: Helix Water District

 

Third Place winner: John Wozny, “The Eagle Has Landed.” Photo: Helix Water District Lake Jennings 2022

Third Place: John Wozny, “The Eagle Has Landed.” Photo: Helix Water District

2022 Spring Photo Contest Youth Category

First Place winner: Lucas Sides, “Lunch.” Photo: Helix Water District

First Place: Lucas Sides, “Lunch.” Photo: Helix Water District

 

Second Place winner: Lucas Sides, “A Day At The Lake.” Photo: Helix Water District

Second Place: Lucas Sides, “A Day At The Lake.” Photo: Helix Water District

Third Place winner: Lydia McQuiddy, “Blue Sky Day.” Photo: Helix Water District

Third Place: Lydia McQuiddy, “Blue Sky Day.” Photo: Helix Water District

The winning photos are also available on Lake Jennings’ Facebook page and the District’s website.

Scenic community resource for six decades

Lake Jennings is among San Diego County’s most scenic parks. The lake is a drinking water reservoir in Lakeside, California, owned and operated by Helix Water District.

Lake Jennings is named for William H. Jennings, an attorney who grew up on his family farm in Lakeside. He served as San Diego County Water Authority general counsel for 26 years and served on the California Water Commission. Jennings played a significant role in the State Water Project in the 1950s and helped secure imported water for San Diego County In the 1960s. The lake was named in his honor in 1964.

(Editor’s note: The Helix Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir

Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir Moving to Completion

The San Diego County Water Authority Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir project in North San Diego County reached a major milestone in late April when crews poured the concrete roof of the new prestressed concrete water tank. The major construction project, which began in March 2021, will improve drinking water supply reliability for the county.

The project began with the demolition of an abandoned steel tank, and includes construction of an isolation vault and an underground flow control facility, in addition to the new 2.1 million-gallon water tank connected to the Valley Center Pipeline. The project is expected to be completed by November 2022.

Improved flexibility with Hauck Mesa Reservoir

The new Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir will increase operational flexibility by balancing the flow of treated water between the agency’s first and second aqueducts as well as ensure water deliveries can be maintained even if power supplies are interrupted.

The walls of the new tank are about 60 feet tall, will be stained a forest green color to blend in with the natural landscape, and are made of prestressed, or wire wrapped, concrete. Construction Manager Emma Ward-McNally said that the prestressed technology “will maintain the tank walls in permanent compression, allowing the tank to accommodate seismic events while remaining watertight.”

Next steps for the project include the wire wrapping of the water tank, applying green-tinted shotcrete to the tank walls, installation of mechanical components within the flow control facility, system commissioning, and paving of the project site and access road.

Asset management

Strategic infrastructure improvements by the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies are part of the regional effort to ensure continued delivery of water to support the region’s $240 billion economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents. As part of the asset management program, it is critical to actively replace and repair the Water Authority’s assets, which include pipes, valves, facilities, equipment, and other infrastructure.

The Water Authority will continue to work closely with the Valley Center community, Valley Center Municipal Water District, and nearby homeowners to minimize short-term construction impacts.

New Water Tank in Mission Trails Nearly Complete and Will Soon Disappear

Construction of the new Flow Regulatory Structure II, or FRS II, in Mission Trails Regional Park is nearing completion. The structure is now completely enclosed on all sides and was successfully tested.

Construction crews have started placing soil around the exterior walls to begin burying the structure. In the next three weeks, the roof will be covered so the facility is concealed. Water is expected to begin flowing into FRS II in June 2022.

Hodges Reservoir Will be Closed for Recreation During Five-Month Project

In the coming weeks, the City of San Diego will begin emergency repairs on the Lake Hodges Dam at the Hodges Reservoir in Escondido outside of Rancho Santa Fe.

During a recent inspection, the city identified areas in the dam wall that require repair and need be sealed. In order to complete the work, the water level of the reservoir needs to be lowered by about 18 feet from its current level to an elevation of 275 feet.

The repair project is expected to continue for an estimated five months.

underground-tank-mission-trails

New Water Tank in Mission Trails Nearly Complete and Will Soon Disappear

Construction of the new Flow Regulatory Structure II, or FRS II, in Mission Trails Regional Park is nearing completion. The structure is now completely enclosed on all sides and was successfully tested.

Construction crews have started placing soil around the exterior walls to begin burying the structure. In the next three weeks, the roof will be covered so the facility is concealed. Water is expected to begin flowing into FRS II in June 2022.

Mission Trails Regional Park project

The new structure, located in the northwest portion of Mission Trails Regional Park, is part of a San Diego County Water Authority project to upgrade the untreated water system that delivers water to treatment plants servicing the central and southern areas of the county, helping to balance the flow of untreated water. Once in operation, the FRS II will be capable of holding nearly five million gallons of water – enough water to fill seven Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Area will be restored with natural vegetation

Revegetation efforts will begin after FRS II is work is complete this fall. The topsoil was removed and stored onsite and will be returned help restore native plants and vegetation to pre-construction conditions.

Before the project began, 225 pounds of live seed was gathered from within Mission Trails Regional Park and taken to a dedicated nursery. From these seeds, more than 22,000 native plants are being grown and will be planted over a 17-acre area. Once planted, there will be a 120-day plant establishment period followed by five years of maintenance and monitoring to assure successful implementation.

Construction began in March 2020 just as the coronavirus pandemic began. As an essential infrastructure project, construction on the water project continued during the pandemic.

The Water Authority operates and maintains a regional water delivery system capable of delivering 900 million gallons of water per day.

Watch a recent news story about the project nearing completion.

Repair Work on Hodges Dam to Begin

As part of continuing efforts to maintain and invest in City of San Diego infrastructure, repair work starts within the next two weeks on Hodges Dam, at the Hodges Reservoir north of Rancho Bernardo.

“It’s been over a century since Hodges Dam was constructed, and we are making significant investments to maintain this vital asset,” said Alia Khouri, Deputy Chief Operating Officer.

The New 5-Million-Gallon Water Tank in Mission Trails You’ll Never See Again

A multimillion-dollar construction project is almost done on a massive water tank in Mission Trails Regional Park. Once construction is complete, it will likely be forgotten because no one will be able to see it.

The San Diego County Water Authority is wrapping up construction on its newest flow regulatory structure on the western edge of the park. Work began in earnest at the beginning of 2021 on the five-million-gallon water tank and it’s expected to wrap up next month.

Helix Water District-Lake Jennings-Trout Season Opens-Trout Season Opens at Lake Jennings

Trout Season Opens at Lake Jennings

The 2021 trout season opened Nov. 19 at Lake Jennings, the Helix Water District reservoir in Lakeside. The lake is one of San Diego County’s hot spots for trout fishing, ranked second in the county by SDFish.com.

The first delivery of 2,000 pounds of trout traveled 913 miles from Idaho in an oxygenated truck to stock the lake. The first of 12 biweekly trout stock came from Wright’s Rainbows in Thatcher, Idaho. A total of 20,000 pounds will be stocked every two weeks through the week of April 18. Anglers can also catch large-mouth bass, red-ear sunfish, bluegill, channel and blue catfish.

Fishing one of several fall family activities  at Lake Jennings

For trout season arriving this weekend, the recommended lure is mini jigs, an all-purpose lure which attracts trout, bass, crappie and bluegill. Photo: Lake Jennings

For trout season at Lake Jennings, the recommended lure is mini jigs, an all-purpose lure which attracts trout, bass, crappie and bluegill. Photo: Lake Jennings

In addition to other recreational activities, Lake Jennings is where the Helix Water District stores imported water from the Colorado River and Northern California. After treatment, the water is supplied to 277,000 people in San Diego’s East County, including the cities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and El Cajon, the Spring Valley community.

Helix Water District is also part of a collaborative partnership for the East County Advanced Water Purifcation project, along with Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the County of San Diego, and the City of El Cajon. The plant is expected to provide 30% of current drinking water demands for East County residents when completed in 2025.

Trout fishing on the shore

Fishing is accessible on the shoreline, on the lake’s fishing dock, or from kayaks or a 16-foot skiff with an outboard motor available for rental. Rental boats are on a first-come, first-served basis. Anglers can also launch privately owned boats.

During the opening weekend of trout season in 2020, Lake Jennings issued 931 permits, including 161 for children, an increase of 10% over 2019. The lake is open for shore fishing daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Anglers must purchase a daily permit from the campground check-in kiosk. Five miles of shoreline provides ample space for social distancing.

Record catch, recommended lure

The recommended lure for trout arriving this weekend is mini jigs, an all-purpose lure that attracts trout, bass, crappie, and bluegill. To help cast the lightweight lure, lake staff recommend attaching a bobber five to six feet above the mini jig. Popular jig colors for trout season are pink, orange, and chartreuse.

The current lake record is held by Chris Sprecco, who caught an 84.4 lb. blue catfish on January 18, 2020. Sprecco broke a longstanding previous lake record of a 71.3 lb. blue catfish held by Bob Bowden on June 1, 2014.

Dock and boat fishing are available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The bait and tackle shop is also open Friday through Sunday.  Check the lake’s website for the latest hours and information. Anglers can sign up for the weekly Lake Jennings fishing report sent by email at the lake’s website.

(Editor’s note: The Helix Water District and the Padre Dam Municipal Water District are two of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Lake Mendocino Level Now At About 75% of What Water Managers Had Hoped

The storage level in Lake Mendocino was on pace to drop below 15,000 acre feet on Saturday, meaning a quarter of the supply water managers had hoped to keep in store by Oct. 1 already has been released. The rapid shrinkage of the reservoir after two years of historic drought raises unsettling questions about the future for a range of consumers along the upper Russian River, whose supplies already are heavily restricted.

Gary Croucher-Board Chair-San Diego County Water Authority-Primary

Local Renewable Energy Project Gets Big Boost

I’m so pleased to report that a large-scale renewable energy project proposed jointly by the City of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority received $18 million in the state budget signed this month by Gov. Gavin Newsom. That money will advance the San Vicente Energy Storage Facility through initial design, environmental reviews, and the federal licensing process – a huge boost for a project with a huge upside for the region.

This is one of the most promising pumped energy storage solutions in California, and it would be a major asset to help avoid rolling blackouts through on-demand energy production while helping to meet state climate goals. It also could mitigate costs for water ratepayers across the San Diego region by generating additional revenue to help offset the cost of water purchases, storage, and treatment. The City and the Water Authority are developing the project together, just like they did to raise the height of the city-owned San Vicente Dam 117 feet in the 2010s.

San Vicente Energy Storage Facility project

Upon completion, the San Vicente energy project would provide up to 500 megawatts of long-duration stored energy, which will assist in meeting peak electrical demand periods throughout Southern California and help meet the goals of Senate Bill 100, which requires 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% zero-carbon energy resources statewide by 2045. The project will provide enough energy for about 135,000 households when operating.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Gov. Gavin Newsom and Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins for ensuring funding for this critical infrastructure project, which will create more than 1,000 construction-related jobs in addition to its other benefits.

With state funding in place, the Water Authority and the City are preparing to launch federal and state environmental reviews, seek a project license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and issue a Request for Proposals for a full-service private partner to help develop the project. Those complex components are expected to take at least four years, with construction completion forecast for 2030.

Pumped energy storage projects are designed to store excess renewable energy from solar and wind during the day, and then discharge that energy when energy use increases in the evening and renewable energy is not available.

The San Vicente project would create a small upper reservoir above the existing San Vicente Reservoir in Lakeside, along with a tunnel system and an underground powerhouse to connect the two reservoirs. The powerhouse would contain four reversible pump turbines.

During off-peak periods – when power is inexpensive and renewable supplies from wind and solar facilities exceed demand – turbines would pump water to the upper reservoir where it would act as a battery of stored potential energy. During high energy use, the system would discharge water from the upper reservoir downhill through the turbines, producing energy. The exchange between the two reservoirs would not consume water.

For more details about the San Vicente Energy Storage Facility go to: www.sdcwa.org/projects/san-vicente-pumping-facilities/