The San Diego County Water Authority has begun crafting its 2023 Water Facilities Master Plan Update and will advertise for professional service support in early November following an update last week to the Board of Directors. The plan, updated every 10 years, will lay out strategies to optimize Water Authority facilities to serve the region under a range of future conditions through the 2045 planning horizon.
The draft version of the master plan is anticipated to be completed by winter 2023, followed by Board adoption of the final plan in early 2024. The development of the master plan builds on the region’s recently approved 2020 Urban Water Management Plan, which updated water demand projections to 2045.
2023 Water Facilities Master Plan Update guides future investments
The Water Authority’s master plan guides future investments, defines strategies to identify facility needs, and focuses on system optimization to ensure the Water Authority can meet future member agency water demands in a reliable and cost-effective way.
“As we move into the next decade of regional water facilities planning, it is important the Water Authority continue to lead regional preparations for an uncertain future by improving existing infrastructure with resiliency and flexibility in the face of climate change,” said Water Authority General Manager Sandra L. Kerl. “Especially in these times of drought, we all realize the full value of water and all that goes into a sound water delivery system to sustain our region’s $253 billion economy and quality of life.”
Master plan focus includes climate change
The previous master plan update in 2013 relied on the 2010 UWMP demand projections and incorporated a new normal of reduced water sale volumes, due to a greater emphasis on local supply development, water use efficiency, and new energy management options. Going forward, the 2023 master plan update will continue to focus on facility optimization; system changes due to local supply development by member agencies (such as potable reuse projects); updated water use efficiency regulations; and climate change.
Preliminary objectives of the 2023 update include:
- Evaluate existing facilities and plan for any future regional water facilities
- Ensure system operational resiliency and flexibility
- Maintain and improve supply reliability and diversity
Staff will lead the development of the master plan with support from a contractor team selected through a request for proposals that’s expected to be issued in November. Key tasks in the scope of work will include:
- Development of performance criteria
- Identify and evaluate planning scenarios
- Analyze facility/project alternatives
- Recommend and prioritize projects
In addition to the Water Facilities Master Plan, the Water Authority also regularly updates its Urban Water Management Plan, Aqueduct Operating Plan, Long-Range Financing Plan, Climate Action Plan, and several others. Those documents work together to ensure the right mix of supplies and facilities to meet the region’s needs at the right time at an affordable cost.
For more information about the Water Authority’s planning and preparedness efforts go to www.sdcwa.org/your-water/planning-preparedness.