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Helix Water District Planning Document Reveals Sufficient Water Supplies

Helix Water District Board of Directors just adopted its 2020 Urban Water Management Plan following a public hearing. The 2020 Urban Water Management Plan supports the district’s long-term planning efforts to ensure that it has enough water supplies to meet existing and future water needs.

Public Input Requested for San Diego Water Plan

San Diego is seeking input from the public on a new water plan introduced by Mayor Todd Gloria. Under the 2020 Urban Water Management Plan, the city would develop more than half of the city’s water locally by 2045.

Water Authority’s Plan for Local Supply

San Diego County Water Authority Water Resources Manager Jeff Stephenson talks to ABC 10News about the area’s water supply following the release of the draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan. The plan was released for public review March 8.

Water Authority Plan Shows Sufficient Supplies Until 2045

Since 1991, San Diego County ratepayers have conserved more than 1 million acre-feet of water, and per capita potable water use in the region decreased nearly 60 percent between fiscal years 1990 and 2019, according to the San Diego County Water Authority.

The findings are part of the Water Authority’s draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan, which was released Monday for public review.

The report concludes that as a result of conservation and billions of dollars in infrastructure, San Diego should have sufficient water supplies through 2045.

“Thanks to decades of regional investments (and conservation) the draft plan shows that we don’t need to secure more regional supply sources for the foreseeable future,” Water Authority general manager Sandra Kerl said in a statement. “Instead we are focused on helping our member agencies develop local supplies, and looking for other ways we can continue to ensure supply reliability at a reasonable cost.”

Water Authority Plan Shows Sufficient Supplies Through 2045

The San Diego County Water Authority’s draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan was released for public review today. The plan highlights how regional investments in a “water portfolio approach” to supply management and a sustained emphasis on water-use efficiency mean that San Diego County will continue to have sufficient water supplies through the 2045 planning horizon — even during multiple dry years.

Urban Water Management Plan-San Diego County Water Authority

Water Authority Plan Shows Sufficient Supplies Through 2045

The San Diego County Water Authority’s draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan was released for public review today. The plan highlights how regional investments in a “water portfolio approach” to supply management and a sustained emphasis on water-use efficiency mean that San Diego County will continue to have sufficient water supplies through the 2045 planning horizon — even during multiple dry years.

A 60-day public comment period on the draft plan ends May 6 and will include a public hearing on March 25. The Board of Directors is expected to consider adoption of the final plan during its regular meeting on May 27. The 2020 UWMP is due to the state by July 1, 2021. To read the draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan, or to submit comments, go to http://bit.ly/Water-Authority-UWMP.

Regional investments pay off for water supply

“Thanks to decades of regional investments, the draft plan shows that we don’t need to secure more regional supply sources for the foreseeable future,” said Water Authority General Manager Sandra L. Kerl. “Instead, we are focused on helping our member agencies develop local supplies and looking for other ways we can continue to ensure supply reliability at a reasonable cost.”

The Water Authority started the current UWMP process in September 2018, coordinating closely with its 24 member agencies, most of which must submit their own plans to the state. Member agencies provided input into the draft plan as part of the Water Authority’s ongoing effort to align local and regional projections as closely as possible. The plan’s long-range demand forecast shows an increase in regional demands of less than 1% per year through 2045. This change in demand is consistent with the change forecasted by other large water suppliers, including the City of San Diego and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Plan is mandated by state law

Multiple supply and demand projections factor into Urban Water Management Plans, which are mandated by the state to ensure sufficient supplies over 25 years. The plans are not used to set water rates; rates are set annually based on multiple financial factors at the time, not long-term projections about water supplies.

Urban Water Management Plans are dictated by statutory guidelines, Water Authority Board direction and an agreement with the San Diego Association of Governments to use its regional growth forecast. The plans also support state laws that link approval for large housing developments to water supply availability.

By law, the plans must be updated every five years. Per state guidelines, the Water Authority’s Urban Water Management Plan includes:

  • Projected water demands under normal weather and dry weather scenarios
  • Conservation savings information
  • A process to conduct an annual water supply and demand assessment
  • Supply reliability analysis

The demand forecast accounts for changes in socio-economic factors, such as the number of projected housing units, the mix of single-family and multi-family dwellings, and employment growth.

Conservation by water ratepayers in San Diego County

Conservation projections account for continued adoption of water-use efficiency measures, compliance with landscape water-use ordinances for new residential construction, and continued installations of sustainable landscapes at existing homes. Since 1991, San Diego County ratepayers have conserved more than 1 million acre-feet of water, and per capita potable water use in the region decreased nearly 60% between fiscal years 1990 and 2019.

Urban Water Management Plan-Water Authority-Desalination Plant

The draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan shows how regional investments by the San Diego County Water Authority in a “water portfolio approach” mean that San Diego County will continue to have sufficient supplies, including locally-controlled drinking water from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, the largest, most technologically-advanced and energy efficient desalination plant in the nation. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

The draft 2020 UWMP also highlights the value of the Water Authority’s long-term strategy to invest in highly reliable and locally controlled supplies from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant and the nation’s largest conservation-and-transfer agreement, which provides high-priority, low-cost water from the Colorado River.

In addition to the UWMP, the Water Authority also regularly updates its Regional Water Facilities Optimization and Master Plan, which focuses on the infrastructure necessary to meet projected long-term demands, and its Long-Range Financing Plan. Those documents work together to ensure the right mix of supplies and facilities to meet the region’s needs at an affordable cost.

Urban Water Management Plan-Water Authority-Primary photo-Colorado River Aqueduct

The draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan highlights the value of the Water Authority’s long-term strategy to invest in highly reliable supplies, including the nation’s largest conservation-and-transfer agreement, which provides high-priority, low-cost water from the Colorado River. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

Water Authority Plan Shows Sufficient Supplies Through 2045

March 8, 2021 – The San Diego County Water Authority’s draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan was released for public review today. The plan highlights how regional investments in a “water portfolio approach” to supply management and a sustained emphasis on water-use efficiency mean that San Diego County will continue to have sufficient water supplies through the 2045 planning horizon — even during multiple dry years.

San Diego Seeks Public Input on Plan to Produce 50% of Water Locally by 2045

The City of San Diego plans to develop more than half of its water locally under a plan introduced by Mayor Todd Gloria.

The plan intends to develop more than 50% of the city’s locally by 2045. A major factor in this goal will be the city’s Pure Water recycling program, which purifies recycled water to be used as safe drinking water. The project is expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2035 and have the capacity to create 83 million gallons of water daily.

Water Authority Didn’t Always Take Pure Water Project Seriously, Emails Show

In its 25-year plan ensuring the San Diego region has enough water to go around, the county’s largest water provider didn’t appear to take the region’s biggest water recycling project to date very seriously, at least at first.

Emails between the San Diego County Water Authority staff and city of San Diego officials show the city had to argue for the second and biggest phase of its Pure Water program to be considered a realistic future source of drinking water. That surprised San Diego, which is the Water Authority’s biggest customer and is legally required to construct its wastewater recycling project.

Water Agencies Disagree on How Much Water San Diego Needs

The San Diego Water Authority thinks the region is going to need way more water over the next few decades, but the smaller agencies that buy water from them aren’t so sure.