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Trio of Waterwise Landscapes Win Vista 2021 Contest

Three homeowners in the Vista Irrigation District won recognition recently from the VID board of directors in its 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest.

The annual contest recognizes outstanding water-wise residential landscapes based on overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection, design, appropriate maintenance, and efficient irrigation methods.

Lauren Grey's new landscaping filled with vibrant blooming plants is the 2021 Vista Irrigation District Landscape Makeover Contest winner. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Vista 2021 Contest

Trio of Waterwise Landscapes Win Vista 2021 Contest

Three homeowners in the Vista Irrigation District won recognition recently from the VID board of directors in its 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest.

The annual contest recognizes outstanding water-wise residential landscapes based on overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection, design, appropriate maintenance, and efficient irrigation methods.

Lauren Grey's landscaping before its winning makeover. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Vista 2021 Contest

Lauren Grey’s landscaping before its winning makeover. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Winning plan solves erosion problem with beautiful blooms

The “Best in District” award went to Lauren Grey. What started as a project to halt the rush of soil down a steep front slope turned into a multi-hued garden with a view from the top. Grey renovated her front slope and landscape by installing retaining walls surrounded by beds of colorful blooms. She lined the staircase zigzagging through the hillside with a variety of potted succulents. Bright orange poppies, lush green jade, silvery Ghost Plants, and Purple Heart Tradescantia dot the slope.

Lauren Grey’s landscaping solved her problems with a troublesome slope. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

The winning result is an explosion of color. “What fun to have a beautiful garden and a sweet place to sit and contemplate it all!” said Grey.

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

Drought-tolerant results receive recognition

Homeowners Deborah Brandt and Dorothy Wagemester received honorable mentions for their outstanding projects.

The "before" look at the Wagemester landscaping. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Vista 2021 Contest

The “before” look at the Wagemester landscaping. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

The Wagemesters wanted to conserve water and create an inviting natural haven on their property. A meandering hardscape pathway lined with a vibrant palette of drought-tolerant choices, including bougainvillea, trailing buttercups, sea lavender, and Cape plumbago replaced turf with a native garden.

The Wagemester home's attractive new waterwise landscaping. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Vista 2021 Contest

The Wagemester home’s attractive new waterwise landscaping. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Magenta blooms of an Eastern Redbud tree pop against foxtail agaves and Kaleidoscope Abelia.

“While spring is our favorite season, we now have color all year long,” said Dorothy Wagemester.

Deborah Brandt's landscaping before its makeover. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Vista 2021 Contest

Deborah Brandt’s landscaping before its makeover. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Brandt wanted to transform her plain backyard into a magical place. She started with river rock and added cactus and succulents in multiple shapes and sizes. Over time, she mixed in yard art and chimes, creating charming surprises. Brandt installed drip irrigation and two rain barrel water collection systems to reduce her water use.

The Brandt home with its new drought-tolerant landscaping. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Vista 2021 Contest

The Brandt home with its new drought-tolerant landscaping. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Brandt “gave away the lawnmower” due to the transformation into a low-maintenance, WaterSmart paradise where flowers bloom year-round.

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

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Vista Irrigation District Announces WaterSmart Landscape Contest Winners

Vista, Calif. — The Vista Irrigation District board of directors recognized customers for their entries in the district’s WaterSmart Landscape Contest. The annual contest recognizes outstanding water-wise residential landscapes based on the criteria of overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection, design, appropriate maintenance, and efficient methods of irrigation.

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Vista Irrigation District Adopts 2020 Urban Water Management Plan and Amended Water Supply Response Plan

Vista, Calif. — Vista Irrigation District Board of Directors adopted its 2020 Urban Water Management Plan (2020 UWMP) and amended its Water Supply Response Plan (WSRP). The 2020 UWMP details the district’s long-term planning efforts to ensure sufficient water supplies to meet existing and future water needs of its customers. The WSRP specifies water use efficiency and water conservation measures to be implemented during water shortage conditions resulting from drought and other emergencies.

An employee looks into a section of pipeline. One of the projects receiving an award.

Water Authority Wins Four Awards for Outstanding Projects

The American Public Works Association and American Society of Civil Engineers recently presented the San Diego County Water Authority with four awards for construction projects that exemplified outstanding skill, dedication and collaboration from staff in many departments. All of the projects were underway or completed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and project teams navigated shutdowns, adapted to health and safety restrictions, and overcame many other uncertainties – in addition to typical challenges encountered during construction projects.

1) APWA Project of the Year: Northern First Aqueduct Structures and Lining Rehabilitation

With extensive coordination between the Water Authority’s Asset Management, Operations, Maintenance, Right of Way, Water Resources, Engineering and Public Affairs teams, the First Aqueduct rehabilitation project was completed in early 2021. Significant work had not been performed on the First Aqueduct since the completion of Pipeline 1 in 1947 and Pipeline 2 in 1954. The Operations and Maintenance Teams worked closely with multiple member agencies to ensure no impacts to water deliveries over the extended shutdowns required to reline both Pipelines. These extended shutdowns allowed the Asset Management team to inspect 27 miles of pipeline along the aqueduct using innovative technologies – the first time this had been done in nearly 75 years.

“Since the project included more than 35 work sites spread out over 15 miles, many in rural areas of the county, we collaborated closely between different departments and member agencies to ensure that water service was not disrupted,” said Emma Ward-McNally, Water Authority engineer.

2) APWA Honor Award: Vallecitos 11/Vista Irrigation 12 Flow Control Facility

This new facility replaced the existing Vallecitos 2/Vista Irrigation 1 facility that was built in 1954. The Water Authority’s Operations and Maintenance team worked closely with the Engineering team to develop a construction sequence to build the new facility while maintaining water service to member agencies.

“A meticulous level of detail in the design process allowed for the project to be completed with minimal changes during construction,” said Jim Zhou, Water Authority senior engineer.

3) APWA Honor Award: San Diego 28 Flow Control Facility

The new flow control facility replaced the San Diego 12 flow control facility. The Water Authority’s Right of Way team worked closely with the City of San Diego to acquire property rights for the facility. During construction, electrical and rotating technicians from Operations and Maintenance provided support to ensure that the facility was constructed correctly and that electrical relay protection was coordinated when connecting to San Diego Gas & Electric.

“The new facility repurposed an existing building at the site, but it was forward-looking – the project included the installation of a second pipe train for a future inline hydroelectric turbine,” said Aaron Trimm, Water Authority senior engineer.

4) ASCE Award of Excellence: Pipeline 5 Emergency Repair

After nearby Pipeline 4 was repaired in late 2019, the Asset Management team inspected Pipeline 5 in early 2020, and found it needed repairs as well. Multiple Water Authority departments and teams collaborated to launch the emergency repairs on Pipeline 5, despite the uncertainty of the growing pandemic. The Engineering Contracts group executed five contracts and task authorizations for design, construction and inspection within a few weeks to make the project happen, and the work was completed in April 2020.

“The project was a true team effort that required collaboration from multiple departments to ensure that the emergency repair could be completed even as the region was shutting down due to the pandemic,” said Colin Kemper, Water Authority senior engineer.

Vista Irrigation District Contests Award Student Scholarships, Art Prizes

Eight North San Diego County high school seniors and three fourth-grade students were the winners of two separate Vista Irrigation District sponsored contests.

Kulpreet Chhoker from Mission Vista High School, Kylie Konyn from St. Joseph Academy, and Delanee Haskins from North County Trade Tech High School each received $2,000 as winners of the Vista Irrigation District 2021 scholarship contest.

Izak Bunda from Guajome Park Academy, Anthony Jones and Malia Leonard from Rancho Buena Vista High School, and Colby Rafail and Juan Ramirez from Vista High School each received $500 as runners-up in the scholarship contest.

Student poster contest winner Emaline Kennedy illustrated her entry with low water use plants. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Contests

Vista Irrigation District Contests Award Student Scholarships, Art Prizes

Eight North San Diego County high school seniors and three fourth-grade students were the winners of two separate Vista Irrigation District sponsored contests.

Vista Irrigation District Scholarship winners in 2021 include (Top Row, L to R) Kulpreet Chhoker, Kylie Konyn, Anthony Jones, Delanee Haskins; Second Row, (L to R): Colby Rafail, Malia Leonard, John Ramirez. Not pictured:  Izak Bunda. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Vista Irrigation District Scholarship winners in 2021 include (Top Row, L to R) Kulpreet Chhoker, Kylie Konyn, Anthony Jones, Delanee Haskins; Second Row, (L to R): Colby Rafail, Malia Leonard, John Ramirez. Not pictured: Izak Bunda. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Kulpreet Chhoker from Mission Vista High School, Kylie Konyn from St. Joseph Academy, and Delanee Haskins from North County Trade Tech High School each received $2,000 as winners of the Vista Irrigation District 2021 scholarship contest.

Izak Bunda from Guajome Park Academy, Anthony Jones and Malia Leonard from Rancho Buena Vista High School, and Colby Rafail and Juan Ramirez from Vista High School each received $500 as runners-up in the scholarship contest.

Open to high school seniors living or attending school within the Vista Irrigation District’s service area, the scholarship contest helps create awareness and increase knowledge about water-related issues impacting the Vista Irrigation District and the region where students live.

Poster Contest winners depict theme “Love Water, Save Water”

Open to District students in the fourth grade, the annual Student Poster Art Contest is designed to promote understanding of water issues in elementary schools.  This year’s theme was “Love Water, Save Water.”

Student poster contest winner Emaline Kennedy illustrated her entry with low water use plants. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Contests

Student poster contest winner Emaline Kennedy illustrated her entry with low water use plants. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Grapevine Elementary School fourth-grader Emaline Kennedy received first place honors for her Water Awareness Poster Contest entry.  She received a $100 award.

Second place winner Paul Gomez focused on enjoying water responsibly. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Second place winner Paul Gomez focused on enjoying water responsibly. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Fourth-grader Paul Gomez from Empresa Elementary School received a second-place award of $50.

Third place winner Matthew Potter depicts rainfall as a precious water resource.

Third place winner Matthew Potter depicts rainfall as a precious water resource. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Matthew Potter, a fourth-grader attending Alamosa Park Elementary School, received a third-place award of $25.

The three winning posters were selected from 249 entries based on the theme, artwork, originality, and poster design.  Emaline’s poster will appear in the 2022 Water Awareness Calendar, which will be available free of charge at the district’s office in November 2021.

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

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Vista Irrigation District Announces Student Contest Winners

Vista, Calif. — Vista Irrigation District has awarded college scholarships to eight high school seniors and selected three fourth-grade students from the local community as winners of two separate district-sponsored contests.

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Water District Uses Rate Rebate to Offset Future Increases

Vista, Calif. — Vista Irrigation District board of directors voted to use $1.57 million received from the San Diego County Water Authority as part of a legal settlement with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to offset the financial impact of Water Authority rate increases over the next five years.

Scholarship Applications Open for Aspiring Water Pros

If you’re a student considering college studies leading to a career in the water and wastewater industry, several California water associations and San Diego regional member water agencies offer college scholarships. Scholarships are available for community college, college, and graduate-level programs