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OMWD Announces Virtual Neighborhood Meeting on June 11 about Pipeline Project along Encinitas Boulevard and Manchester Avenue

Encinitas, Calif. — The public is invited to attend a virtual public meeting via Zoom on June 11 to learn about the potable water pipeline project that Olivenhain Municipal Water District will begin in fall 2020 at the intersection of Rancho Santa Fe Road and Encinitas Blvd.

East County Advanced Water Purification Program Moves Forward

The East County Advanced Water Purification Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors unanimously approved water and wastewater service agreements this week, moving this significant drinking water project one-step closer to reality. These water and wastewater agreements are critical to the JPA’s eligibility for key program financing opportunities.

Water purchase agreements were approved between the East County AWP JPA and Padre Dam Municipal Water District and between the East County AWP JPA and Helix Water District. The water purchase agreements cover the terms and conditions for water delivery volumes and water pricing for the purchase of purified water by Helix as well as Padre Dam’s purchase of purified water and Title 22 recycled water. The water service agreement was previously approved unanimously by Padre Dam’s Board of Directors on May 20, 2020. It is anticipated that Helix Water District will consider approval of the agreement at a Special Board meeting scheduled on May 27, 2020.

The Problem America Has Neglected for Too Long: Deteriorating Dams

Aging and undermaintained infrastructure in the United States, combined with changing climate over the coming decades, is setting the stage for more dam disasters like the one that struck Midland, Michigan, last week.

Pure Water Oceanside Groundbreaking-February-2020-Pure Water-IRWM-Primary

San Diego Region on Track to Receive $15 Million for Water Projects

Several regional water supply projects in San Diego County are on track to receive a total of more than $15 million from the California Department of Water Resources, pending a final decision on the grants this summer.

Money for the projects has been recommended by DWR, which will make the awards after a public comment period.

In San Diego County, the grant funds would support local agencies to advance conservation, environmental enhancements, water purification and other initiatives.

Funding for regional water projects

The San Diego County Water Authority submitted the funding request on behalf of the San Diego Integrated Regional Water Management Region, or IRWM. The San Diego IRWM Program began in 2005 as an effort by water retailers, wastewater agencies, stormwater and flood managers, watershed groups, the business community, tribes, agriculture, and nonprofit stakeholders to improve water resources planning in the region.

“The IRWM funding will provide much-needed funding over the next several years to implement a variety of local water supply projects, water use efficiency measures, along with a disadvantaged community project in the City of National City,” said Water Authority General Manager Sandra L. Kerl.

Kerl cited the “extraordinary effort” by the San Diego IRWM Regional Water Management Group and the Regional Advisory Committee for their work over the past year to make the $15,336,000 grant possible.

The statewide IRWM Program is supported by bond funding provided by the DWR to fund competitive grants for projects that improve water resources management.

Regional projects recommended for grant funds

  • San Diego Grant Administration, San Diego County Water Authority – Public Agency $920,180
  • 2020 Regional Water Use Efficiency Programs, San Diego County Water Authority – Public Agency Water Conservation $1,440,000
  • Paradise Valley Creek Water Quality and Community Enhancement, City of National City – Public Agency Flood Damage Reduction $3,681,056
  • North City Pure Water Facility Influent Pump Station and Conveyance Pipeline, City of San Diego, Public Agency Water Supply – Recycled Water $1,477,600
  • San Elijo Stormwater Capture & Reuse San Elijo Joint Powers Authority, Public Agency Water Supply – Recycled Water $1,195,000

Enhancing water stewardship

On November 4, 2014, California voters approved Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.

Proposition 1 authorized $510 million in IRWM funding. Funds are allocated to 12 hydrologic region-based funding areas, including the San Diego Region.

The Proposition 1 IRWM Grant Program, administered by DWR, provides funding for projects that help meet the long-term water needs of the state, including:

  • Assisting water infrastructure systems adapt to climate change;
  • Providing incentives throughout each watershed to collaborate in managing the region’s water resources and setting regional priorities for water infrastructure; and
  • Improving regional water self-reliance, while reducing reliance on Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Thousands of Run-Down US Dams Would Kill People If They Failed, Study Finds

More than 15,000 dams in the US would likely kill people if they failed, and at least 2,300 of them are in poor or unsatisfactory condition, according to recent data from the federal government’s National Inventory of Dams.

After 30 Years and $330 Million Spent, Water Agency Shelves Las Vegas Pipeline Plan

Citing conservation gains and a third straw to the bottom of Lake Mead, the Southern Nevada Water Authority on Thursday voted to shelve a proposal for a multi-billion pipeline that would have moved water from Northern and Eastern Nevada to Las Vegas.

Dexter Wilson Engineering to Design Rainbow’s Rice Canyon Transmission Line

Dexter Wilson Engineering, Inc., will be providing design services for a transmission pipeline from the Rainbow Municipal Water District’s Rice Canyon Water Tank.

A 3-0 Rainbow board vote April 28, with Michael Mack and Helene Brazier not able to participate in the meeting, authorized Rainbow general manager Tom Kennedy to execute a design services contract with the Carlsbad company for up to $190,880 and found that the design itself is categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review although environmental review will be required for the construction.

Rainbow’s Rice Canyon Water Tank obtains potable water from Connection 10 on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s First Aqueduct, which conveys treated water through Pipelines 1 and 2.

National Public Works Week Recognizes Essential Employees

Every time you fill up a water bottle or give the kids a bath, it’s due to the people working as essential employees behind the operation of water and wastewater systems within the San Diego County region’s public works infrastructure.

National Public Works Week takes place the third week of May annually in recognition of the public works professionals who provide and maintain vital public works infrastructure for the key contribution they make every day.

Water industry professionals are committed to serving San Diego County year-round by ensuring the seamless delivery of a safe and reliable water supply. During the coronavirus pandemic, dedicated essential employees have demonstrated exceptional dedication and creativity, making 2020 National Public Works Week especially significant.

Chris Walter, Helix Water District Inspector II, works while wearing a mask as an essential employee. Photo: Helix Water District

National Public Works Week Recognizes Essential Employees

Every time you fill up a water bottle or give the kids a bath, it’s due to the people working as essential employees behind the operation of water and wastewater systems within the San Diego County region’s public works infrastructure.

National Public Works Week takes place the third week of May annually in recognition of the public works professionals who provide and maintain vital public works infrastructure for the key contribution they make every day.

Water industry professionals are committed to serving San Diego County year-round by ensuring the seamless delivery of a safe and reliable water supply. During the coronavirus pandemic, dedicated essential employees have demonstrated exceptional dedication and creativity, making 2020 National Public Works Week especially significant.

Essential workers keep the water flowing

Helix Water District crews remain on the job during the coronavirus pandemic as essential employees being honored during National Public Works Week. Photo: Helix Water District

Helix Water District crews remain on the job during the coronavirus pandemic as essential employees being honored during National Public Works Week. Photo: Helix Water District

“Our employees are essential workers and they don’t take that lightly,” said Eric Heidemann, City of Poway director of public works. “From our water treatment plant operators to our technicians out in the field, they care for our Poway community and are committed to keeping our water supply safe during this crisis.”

Most of the infrastructure responsible for delivering the water the public depends on every day is hidden. This can make it easy to take a safe and reliable water supply for granted.

Bernardo Separa represents thousands of essential employees in public works being recognized during National Public Works Week. Photo: Otay Water District

Bernardo Separa of the Otay Water District represents thousands of essential employees in public works being recognized during National Public Works Week. Photo: Otay Water District

“It is very rewarding to complete projects as a team,” said Bernardo Separa, engineering design technician with the Otay Water District. “Knowing that you contributed and made a difference as a team member is a tremendous feeling.”

Safe, reliable water supply

“Our dedicated Helix employees help keep East County communities running by providing a safe and reliable water supply, 24/7,” said Carlos Lugo, General Manager, Helix Water District. “During National Public Works Week, we want to say thank you to our Helix employees for keeping the water flowing.”

Career opportunities available in water and wastewater industry

(L to R): Terry Zaragoza, Chad Weigel and Vernon Fitzpatrick from the City of Poway perform routine maintenance on a wastewater pipeline as essential employees. Photo: City of Poway

(L to R): Terry Zaragoza, Chad Weigel and Vernon Fitzpatrick from the City of Poway perform routine maintenance on a wastewater pipeline as essential employees. Photo: City of Poway

Public agencies like the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies play an important role in the region, both in terms of employment and providing critical services to support 3.3 million residents.

With approximately 1,400 water and wastewater jobs expected to open up across San Diego County in the next five years due to the “silver tsunami” wave of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, career opportunities have never been more promising.

The Water Authority and its member agencies have created a regional workforce development task force to address the “Silver Tsunami” of retirees. The task force reported that there are approximately 4,500 water and wastewater positions in the San Diego region.

Olivenhain MWD, City of Encinitas Work Together to Keep Water and Traffic Flowing

The City of Encinitas and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District are working together on a project that keeps water supply and traffic flowing.

To prevent water main breaks and ensure reliable service to its customers, Olivenhain Municipal Water District is proactive in its repair and replacement of aging water infrastructure.