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San Diego Reservoirs Open with Coronavirus Safety Guidelines

All City of San Diego reservoirs previously closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic are now open to the public during regular business hours for walking, jogging, cycling, fishing and boating. Normal fishing and boating fees will apply.

“Overall everything is working well,” said Bryan Norris, the City’s reservoirs and recreation program manager.  “Several reservoirs are experiencing higher than normal visitation since the reopening.”

Water Utility Hero of the Week, Dana Gutierrez, Otay Water District

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 Week.

Recreational activities such as fishing at Lower Otay Reservoir are continuing safely under new coronavirus safety protocols. Photo: City of San Diego reservoirs open

San Diego Reservoirs Open with Coronavirus Safety Guidelines

All City of San Diego reservoirs previously closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic are now open to the public during regular business hours for walking, jogging, cycling, fishing and boating. Normal fishing and boating fees will apply.

“Overall everything is working well,” said Bryan Norris, the City’s reservoirs and recreation program manager.  “Several reservoirs are experiencing higher than normal visitation since the reopening.”

Available activities include walking, jogging, cycling, fishing and boating. Normal fishing and boating fees will apply. Photo: City of San Diego

Available activities include walking, jogging, cycling, fishing and boating. Normal fishing and boating fees will apply. Photo: City of San Diego

Reservoirs open, face masks, physical distancing required

The public is asked to observe COVID-19 preventative measures, including mandates requiring face coverings and physical distancing.  Bathrooms are scheduled to be cleaned regularly as part of San Diego County regulations. For more information go to: www.sandiego.gov/reservoirs-lakes.

Miramar, Murray, and Lower Otay Reservoirs reopened in mid-May. El Capitan Reservoir and Upper Otay Reservoir were next to reopen on June 6, followed by San Vicente Reservoir on June 13. Lake Hodges, Sutherland, and Barrett all opened in early July and remain open.

New safety and cleaning protocols first started with the May reopenings are continuing.

Lake Jennings offers its popular night fishing on August 7

Lake Jennings in Lakeside, operated by the Helix Water District, remains open for recreation, day use, and camping by family member groups only after reopening in June. Fishing and day use visitors must wear masks and adhere to physical distancing. The Bait and Tackle Shop is open with restrictions. See the complete list of current restrictions onsite at the Lake Jennings website.

The lake was stocked with 1,000 pounds of catfish in preparation for its popular Night Fishing event on Friday, August 7. Fishing enthusiasts of all ages may fish from the shoreline from 3 p.m. until midnight.  A valid California State Fishing License is required for anyone 16 years old and older.

The recreation side of the lake is open every Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., unless a night fishing event is taking place.

The campground is currently sold out this weekend, but campers can check for availability due to cancellations online at www.lakejennings.org. Only registered campers are permitted in the campground, no visitors or day use access is allowed.

Santee Lakes fishing report

Santee Lakes 2 and 4 were stocked on July 27 with 500 pounds of catfish each. The next scheduled fish stocking will take place Monday, August 10. Photo: Padre Dam MWD / Santee Lakes

Santee Lakes 2 and 4 were stocked on July 27 with 500 pounds of catfish each. The next scheduled fish stocking is August 10. Photo: Padre Dam Municipal Water District / Santee Lakes

The popular Santee Lakes reports the bass continue to bite on fishing lines using soft plastics, topwater frogs, and swimbait. Popular spots include the west side of Lake 5 and the southwest corner of Lake 4. Catfish are also biting on a mix of bait including mackerel, chicken liver, and mealworms. Catfish are biting on the east shore of Lake 4 and the south shore of Lake 2.

Santee Lakes has opened the 2021 reservation schedule for its popular campsites.

Padre Dam Municipal Water District built Santee Lakes to demonstrate the promise of water recycling. The 190-acre Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve is owned and operated by Padre Dam MWD and is entirely self‐sustaining, receiving no funds from water/sewer ratepayers or taxpayer subsidies.

A Heat Wave Is Coming: What to Expect in San Diego Over Next Few Days

A summertime heat wave is on the way for San Diego County and the wave’s peak temps could come close to record highs. NBC 7 meteorologist Sheena Parveen said it’ll be “unseasonably hot” across the county starting Thursday. That heat will peak Friday.

Water Agencies Warn of Threatening Calls by Scam Artists

Water agency customers in several San Diego County communities have received scam phone calls this week demanding immediate payment of water bills by credit card or their water will be turned off.

Don’t be fooled! Hang up.

Public water agencies in San Diego County do not make phone threats for immediate credit card payment. In fact, water agencies statewide are prohibited from disconnecting service to water customers during the coronavirus pandemic per an executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom on April 2. The order remains in effect indefinitely.

“Scammers will often ask you to pay in a way that makes it hard for you to get your money back – by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card or cash reload card, or using a money transfer app,” according to the Federal Trade Commission. “Anyone who asks you to pay that way is a scammer.”

Utility scams pop up periodically across the region and take many forms. If in doubt about a contact made by someone claiming to work for a public water agency, call the number on your water bill and ask to talk to a customer service agent.

More information on phone scams: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0208-phone-scams.

San Diego Food System Alliance Seeks Community Input

The San Diego Food System Alliance this week announced for the public’s help in creating a 10-year strategic plan for moving the region toward a healthier, more sustainable and more just food system.

With the community’s support, the Alliance plans to create Food Vision 2030, a plan that will be used to help prioritize food issues, design goals & objectives, and direct resources in a way that meets the needs of all communities in San Diego County.

San Diego Local Water Supply Projects Get Big Funding Boost

Two major water projects in San Diego County this week received a major financial boost to enhance the region’s water supply. The East County Advanced Water Purification Project was approved for up to $91.8 million and a project in the City of Escondido was approved for up to $23.4 million.

East County AWP-Water Supply Projects-Water Recycling

San Diego Local Water Supply Projects Get Big Funding Boost

Two major water projects in San Diego County this week received a major financial boost to enhance the region’s water supply. The East County Advanced Water Purification Project was approved for up to $91.8 million and a project in the City of Escondido was approved for up to $23.4 million.

The San Diego County Water Authority has helped secure nearly $470 million for local supply projects in the past several months in collaboration with member agencies, including the total of $115 million for the East County and City of Escondido projects. Both projects will increase local water supply reliability and reduce future demands on imported water supplies.

Collaboration on water supply projects

On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Board of Directors approved entering into funding agreements from its Local Resources Program for both projects. The Water Authority and its member agencies are able to participate in the Local Resources Program after a final court ruling found MWD had illegally barred the Water Authority from receiving money from MWD’s local water supply program, even though the Water Authority was forced to pay for it.

“Kudos to our member agencies for their strong applications and to MWD’s Board of Directors for approving them,” said Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer. “It is an affirmation of our ongoing efforts to collaborate with MWD and to address shared challenges.”

Potable reuse project in East San Diego County

The East County AWP will be one of the first potable reuse projects in California to use new reservoir augmentation regulations. The program will meet up to 30% of East County’s drinking water demands, almost 13,000 acre-feet of water per year, and eliminate the discharge of 15 million gallons of partially treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.

The AWP uses four advanced water purification steps to produce water that is near-distilled in quality. After treatment, purified water will be blended with water in Lake Jennings and treated again at the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant before being distributed as drinking water.

This program is a collaborative partnership between Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the County of San Diego, the City of El Cajon and Helix Water District.

Advanced water recycling in Escondido

The Membrane Filtration Reverse Osmosis Facility in Escondido would provide up to 3,280 acre-feet per year of advanced treated recycled water to irrigate farms.

The project includes the construction of an advanced recycled water treatment facility with microfiltration and reverse osmosis, new pipelines, and a storage and blending tank to convey water for agricultural irrigation. Source water for the project is treated recycled water from the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility. Escondido will own and operate the project and plans to deliver water by 2023.

Regional water supply projects reduce reliance on imported water

In the past several months, the Water Authority has helped member agencies secure three other Local Resources Program agreements to fund water supply projects that increase local supply and reduce reliance on imported water. Those projects are:

  • $23.6 million for the Fallbrook Public Utilities District’s Fallbrook Groundwater Desalter Project
  • $42.7 million for the City of Oceanside Pure Water & Recycled Water Expansion Phase I Project
  • $285.6 million for the City of San Diego’s Pure Water North City Project

State Awards $15 Million for San Diego Regional Water Projects

 The California Department of Water Resources has awarded more than $15 million in grant funds to advance several regional water projects in San Diego County, ranging from water recycling and reuse to water conservation.

State Water Department Grants More Than $15 Million to San Diego Projects

The California Department of Water Resources awarded more than $15 million in grant funds for several water projects in San Diego County, officials announced Wednesday. The seven projects range from water recycling and reuse to water conservation and from as far south as National City up to Oceanside and Fallbrook.