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Water Supply Diversification Overcomes Dry Winter

No ‘March Miracle’ for snow and rain in California, but the San Diego County Water Authority has diversified water supply sources to weather the boom-and-bust cycle of California winters.

March brought abundant precipitation throughout California, but not enough to offset a dry February. Most large urban water agencies in the state maintain a reliable water supply in wet and dry years.

Opinion: Your Tap Is The Safest Source of Water During This Pandemic

As we Americans face these unprecedented times, many are rushing to the store to stock up on bottled water and other supplies. At Helix Water District, we want to remind you that your tap water is still safe and reliable.

While it’s always advisable to have a reasonable amount of emergency water on hand, the coronavirus outbreak is not a situation that will require a stockpile of bottled water. You will still have access to safe, clean water from your tap, as always.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through water. The illness primarily transfers from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

At Helix Water District, we work diligently 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure your water is safe to drink, meeting all state and federal quality regulations. We collect and analyze 200 water samples a day to ensure our treatment process is effective. Our water treatment process includes disinfecting the water with ozone to chemically deactivate and physically remove viruses, bacteria and other organisms.

Ten Carlsbad Water Plant Employees Live at Work for 21 Days

Millions of Californians are staying home.  Millions are working from home.

Ten are living at work.

“We have locked down the site out here. We have ten employees that are doing the job of those 42 employees,” said Poseidon Director of Communications Jessica Jones.

Water Authority Partners with San Diego Food Bank to Fight Hunger

In addition to ensuring a safe and reliable water, the Board leadership of the San Diego County Water Authority is joining regional efforts to fight the economic impacts of the pandemic by setting up a virtual food drive in partnership with the San Diego Food Bank 

The San Diego Food Bank helps feed hundreds of thousands of hungry people each year – and the numbers are growing rapidly as economic impacts of coronavirus closures ripple across the region.

The Water Authority’s virtual food drive allows donors to select and purchase items such as canned meats, vegetables, fruits, peanut butter and oatmeal for distribution to needy residents.

The Nieves family's landscape makeover project won the Sweetwater Authority's contest in 2019. Photo: Sweetwater Authority 2020 landscape makeover

2020 Landscape Makeover Competition Opens Call For Entries

Fourteen water agencies in San Diego County seek the best in landscaping makeover projects for the regional WaterSmart 2020 Landscape Makeover competition. The annual contest offers the opportunity to showcase residential waterwise landscaping as a way to inspire other homeowners to consider replacing water-guzzling turf based designs.

The contest deadline for all participating agencies is April 27. Homeowners may submit their entry online. You must be a resident within agency boundaries to participate. Each agency winner receives a $250 gift certificate and recognition on the agency website and social media channels.

Deborah Brandt's winning landscape includes contrasting elements, such a cactus, river rock and wood chips, against a backdrop of dramatic magenta, purple and striking orange. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Deborah Brandt’s 2019 winning landscape for the Vista Irrigation District includes contrasting elements, such as cactus, river rock and wood chips, against a backdrop of dramatic magenta, purple and striking orange. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Participating agencies include California American Water, the cities of Escondido, Oceanside, and San Diego, Fallbrook Public Utility District, Helix Water District, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Rincon Del Diablo Water District, San Dieguito Water District, Sweetwater Authority, Vallecitos Water District, and Vista Irrigation District.

“With rebates available for turf removal, now is a great time to replace your lawn with a beautiful WaterSmart landscape,” said Brent Reyes, water conservation specialist for the Vista Irrigation District.

Turf removal saves estimated 36 million gallons annually

La Mesa residents Bob and Shan Cissell transformed 2,500 square feet of turf into their own Conservation Garden in La Mesa, winning the 2019 Oty Water District Landscaping Contest. Photo: Otay Water District

La Mesa residents Bob and Shan Cissell transformed 2,500 square feet of turf into their own conservation garden in La Mesa, winning the 2019 Otay Water District Landscaping Contest. Photo: Otay Water District

With a majority of residential water use in San Diego County attributed to watering landscapes, regional water efficiency efforts focus on outdoor water use.  By showcasing their beautiful landscape in the WaterSmart Landscape Contest, homeowners can offer ideas and demonstrate how waterwise landscaping can be attractive as well.

Thanks to ongoing education and incentives, San Diego County residents have targeted more than one million square feet of turf grass for replacement with WaterSmart landscaping through free landscape makeover classes sponsored by the San Diego County Water Authority between 2013 and 2018. The Water Authority has documented an estimated savings of 33 million gallons annually,

Online landscape makeover tips available

If you need some inspiration or guidance, WaterSmartSD offers landscape makeover videos you can view on demand. This series of videos mirrors the content of the in-person workshops and four-class series. Each video takes you step-by-step through the process of creating your own beautiful, water-efficient landscape.

From measuring your property to getting to know your soil to picking the right plants for the right place, these entertaining and informative videos will guide you along the path to a WaterSmart landscape.

In addition, WaterSmartSD provides a list of online resources and guides to planning your landscape design project, soil analysis, compost and mulch, plant choices, and irrigation.

For additional information on 2020 Landscape Makeover Contest entry rules, go to WaterSmartLandscapes.

Click on the gallery below for more 2020 landscape makeover inspiration from past winners.

 

 

Carlsbad Desal Plant Workers Shelter-in-Place at Work to Ensure Water Safety

During these uncertain times, many people are sacrificing their lives for the greater good.

A highly specialized group of employees at public utility plants who have jobs that are impossible to do at home are some of these workers. Some workers at the Poseidon Desalination Water Plant in Carlsbad are going above and beyond to make sure our drinking water is safe from the coronavirus.

When we think of heroes during this coronavirus pandemic, we immediately think of medical staff, grocery workers, and delivery people. But remember to thank those who continue to provide water.

 

 

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Workers Self-Isolate

In an effort to ensure continuity of operations, ten volunteers are sheltering in place at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in San Diego County. Poseidon Water‘s Jessica Jones shares this inspiring story of selfless dedication to keeping the water flowing.

“They did volunteer to operate the plant on-site for 21 days,” said Jones. “There were ten recreational vehicles brought in, so each worker has their own RV and food is delivered for them without human contact.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Poseidon Water decided to take this step to ensure there is uninterrupted production and delivery of safe and reliable water for San Diego County.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant-Building-WNN-primary-March 2020

COVID-19: Carlsbad Desal Plant Workers Shelter-in-Place to Keep the Water On

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused companies and organizations around San Diego County to take measures to continue serving the public.

As of Friday, 10 workers are quarantined inside the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plan for the next three weeks, monitoring and adjusting gauges and switches, watching for leaks, and doing whatever is needed to safeguard San Diego County’s only significant local source of drinking water.

COVID-19 pandemic prompts ‘extraordinary steps’

“We asked some employees to be locked down at the plant for 21 days to isolate the risk of infection,” said Gilad Cohen, CEO of IDE Americas, the global company that operates the Carlsbad plant and others around the world.

The request for volunteers was a precaution against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “mission critical” employees will work 12-hour shifts, sleep in rented recreational vehicles in the parking lot, and be resupplied with fresh food left for them at the plant’s gate. They will be furnished with washers and dryers to do their own laundry, and the desalination plant’s kitchen and cafeteria are available to them.

Read the rest of the story from The San Diego Union-Tribune here: https://bit.ly/2wz5pZd

The San Diego County Water Authority purchases up to 56,000 acre-feet of water from the Carlsbad plant per year – enough to serve approximately 400,000 people annually.

The plant is a major component of the Water Authority’s multi-decade strategy to diversify the county’s water supply portfolio and minimize vulnerability to drought or other water supply emergencies.

“While the on-site team shelters in place, a second team is remaining in isolation at home and fully prepared to take over plant operations should any situation arise that would necessitate a change in staffing or if the COVID-19 threat extends beyond 21 days,” according to a statement from Poseidon Water.

“Poseidon Water is working in close coordination with the San Diego County Water Authority, IDE Americas Inc. and the California State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water and will continue to evaluate the situation and take any necessary steps to ensure uninterrupted production and delivery of safe drinking water from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.”

Carlsbad Desal Plant Aeria-Coronavirus-WNN-March-2020 primary

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Workers Self-Isolate

In an effort to ensure continuity of operations, ten volunteers are sheltering in place at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in San Diego County. Poseidon Water‘s Jessica Jones shares this inspiring story of selfless dedication to keeping the water flowing.

“They did volunteer to operate the plant on-site for 21 days,” said Jones. “There were ten recreational vehicles brought in, so each worker has their own RV and food is delivered for them without human contact.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Poseidon Water decided to take this step to ensure there is uninterrupted production and delivery of safe and reliable water for San Diego County.

Ten workers, 12-hour shifts, 21 days

The on-site team will sustain plant operations and maintenance for the duration of the 21-day period to ensure continued production of high-quality drinking water, in compliance with all state and federal drinking water standards.

The plant normally operates with 42 employees. She says the ten workers are able to operate the entire plant.

“They’re doing the job of quite a few people,” Jones told WaterWorld.

The three-week period started Thursday, March 19, the first day of spring. Jones said another group of employees are ready to relieve the ten workers during or after the 21 day period if needed.

Jones said the ten employees are working 12-hour shifts. The interview with Jones is part of WaterWorld Magazine’s on-going coverage of COVID-19.

Ten volunteers shelter in place at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant

Watch the interview between Jessica Jones and WaterWorld Editorial Director Angela Godwin here: https://bit.ly/33K5HbU

The San Diego County Water Authority purchases up to 56,000 acre-feet of water from the Carlsbad plant per year – enough to serve approximately 400,000 people annually.

The plant is a major component of the Water Authority’s multi-decade strategy to diversify the county’s water supply portfolio and minimize vulnerability to drought or other water supply emergencies.

Water Authority Begins Pipeline 5 Repairs in North San Diego County

Next week, San Diego County Water Authority staff and contractors will begin crucial repairs on Pipeline 5 in rural North County between Fallbrook and Escondido.

The work is part of the Water Authority’s proactive asset management program, which monitors and maintains the condition of regional water infrastructure that includes 310 miles of large-diameter pipelines. The Water Authority’s approach, coordinated closely with its member agencies, has served the region well by avoiding large-scale, unexpected water outages for more than a decade.