As the nation’s “Capital of Craft,” San Diego County is home to more than 150 breweries that boast nearly 6,500 local jobs. In 2018, the regional craft beer industry produced $1.2 billion in economic impact, according to a report by California State University San Marcos and the San Diego Brewers Guild. California has more operational craft breweries than any other state in the country. As of January 2019, 155 independent craft brewers were operating in San Diego County. The regional economic benefits generated by the industry would not be possible without the safe and reliable water supply that the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies deliver to the region every day.
The Helix Water District has rolled out a new smart leak detector rebate program. Helix and Sweetwater Authority customers can get a rebate of up to $100 when they purchase a smart leak detector. The detectors sync to smartphones, allowing customers to monitor water use 24/7 via smartphone and the devices notify customers of leaks and water consumption amounts. There are two types of smart leak detectors: plumbed devices and external devices, according to Helix. Plumbed devices are plumbed into your existing water lines. Most of these devices can automatically shut the water off at their point of installation, or allow you to shut your water off remotely, in case of a leak.
The Fallbrook Public Utility District’s intern program is designed to prepare potential future employees to fill jobs that open up due to the ‘silver tsunami’ or wave of retirements in the water industry.
Mary Maciel, a junior at Fallbrook High, is Fallbrook Public Utility District’s second paid summer intern. She spends four hours a day each Wednesday working with each department including public affairs, customer service, engineering, construction and maintenance, engineering, water and wastewater operations, and meter reading.
Six talented elementary school students were recognized on August 7 by the Otay Water District Board of Directors as the winners of the District’s “Water is Life” Student Poster Contest. As one of the Otay Water District’s educational programs, the contest offers an opportunity for students to showcase their creativity while reflecting on the importance of using water efficiently in their daily lives. Students were encouraged to illustrate the value of water used both inside and outside the home as an informational poster intended to educate others. “We’re proud to offer students this opportunity to have fun and be creative, while at the same time thinking and learning about water conservation,” said Otay Water District General Manager Mark Watton.
There are many ways to use water more efficiently indoors, and a lot of these are completely free! You don’t have to go through the expense of replacing appliances or installing new ones to improve indoor water efficiency. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing a few old water usage habits.
Here are some easy ways to reduce water usage inside your home:
- Use a bowl of water to help thaw frozen food. Did you know that running the tap to thaw frozen meats and vegetables could use up to 2.5 gallons per minute? Using a bowl of room temperature water instead can greatly improve your water efficiency.
- Scrape dirty dishes first before rinsing them. Not only will this save you time at the sink, but it will also conserve up to 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water instead of running water.
- Run the dishwasher only when it’s full. Too often people are tempted to run the dishwasher as soon as the sink is empty, but standard dishwashers can use 2-4.5 gallons of water per load.
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. This is possibly the easiest habit to change when it comes to water efficiency, and most people are already doing it.
- Shorten showers to five minutes or less. Setting a timer on your watch or phone can help with this.
- Use a bucket to collect water in the shower while you’re waiting for it to warm up. Then use this water to water your plants. Sometimes it can take a while for the shower to get to the right temperature before you step in. This is a perfect time to collect some clean water that can be reused around the house.
- Wash only full loads of clothing – standard clothes washing machines can use a whopping 15-50 gallons per load. By running the washing machine only when it’s full, you can greatly improve your water efficiency.
Learn more about how to use water more efficiently indoors and outdoors this summer.
Check out WaterSmartSD.org for more resources
WaterSmartSD.org also has information about incentives for indoor and outdoor water conservation, as well as opportunities to sign up for FREE WaterSmart checkups. If you’re looking to revamp your landscaping this year, take a look at the WaterSmart landscape makeover classes for some easy ways to get started.
San Diego County Water Authority crews completed relining a segment of Pipeline 5 in Fallbrook and San Marcos in late July, reaching a milestone in a strategic, multi-decade pipeline relining program. The 2.3-mile segment of Pipeline 5 was relined with new steel liners that are planned to last for more than 75 years. The proactive pipeline relining program is a crucial part of asset management efforts that improve the reliability of San Diego County’s water supplies. Since the relining program began in 1991, nearly 47 miles of pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe have been rehabilitated. This constitutes more than half of the total PCCP in the Water Authority system.
For his initiative in designing and creating a new tool designed to improve safety and efficiency on the job, Sweetwater Authority employee Julio Salazar won the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority H.R. LaBounty Safety Award. The award recognized Salazar for creating a ‘Large AMS Stabilizing Tool.’ Salazar’s design resulted in making the process of replacing 1.5 inch and two inch angle meter stops, or AMS, easier, more ergonomic, and safer. “Our water professionals are industry leaders, finding new ways to work smarter and safer,” said Tish Berge, general manager. “Sweetwater Authority could not be more proud of Julio’s tool and much deserved recognition.”
Bonita residents Efren and Ily Niervas won the Sweetwater Authority 2019 Landscape Contest after transforming their front yard from a traditional thirsty expanse of lawn to a watersmart landscaping approach. When the Niervas moved to their home in 2017, they realized the cost of watering their yard, with a large lawn and assorted shrubbery, was too high. They decided to change their landscape and attended home improvement events and expos as part of their research. They also did online research. The research paid off, as the Niervas thoughtfully designed their own xeriscape plan for their creative watersmart landscaping.
This summer, the Water Authority is partnering with three technology companies to test the condition of the agency’s oldest pipelines forming the First Aqueduct in Valley Center. Technology providers test their new and improved tools on Water Authority and member agency pipes. The tools are then used to assess the condition of those same pipes. This efficient strategy ensures maximum condition assessment accuracy. The strategy also allows for technology to keep up with what water agencies need and minimizes costs. Targeted repairs and maintenance activities maximize the life expectancy of some of the region’s most critical infrastructure.
Three talented fourth grade students in north San Diego County will have their winning drawings featured in the 2020 “Be Water Smart” calendar produced by the Vallecitos Water District. The students were honored by the District’s Board of Directors at its July meeting.
To develop and promote water conservation awareness from an early age, the District holds a calendar contest available to all fourth graders in its service area. The top three drawings go on to represent the District in the regional North County Water Agency calendar for the following year.