Tag Archive for: water supply diversification

State Water Project to Boost Deliveries from 5% to 30% of Normal After Rains

California’s giant State Water Project, the network of dams and aqueducts that provides water for 27 million people, will significantly increase deliveries in 2023 after a month of “atmospheric river” storms.

The Department of Water Resources announced Thursday that deliveries will increase from 5% of requested supplies to 30% for the water year than began Dec. 1.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Celebrates 100 Billion Gallons Served

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant has served more than 100 billion gallons of high-quality, locally controlled water over the past seven years – a milestone passed in late October, as California entered a fourth consecutive year of severe drought.

100 Billion Gallons-Carlsbad Desalination Plant-Water Supply

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Celebrates 100 Billion Gallons Served

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant has served more than 100 billion gallons of high-quality, locally controlled water over the past seven years – a milestone passed in late October, as California entered a fourth consecutive year of severe drought.

The plant produces an average of more than 50 million gallons of high-quality, locally controlled water every day. It’s a foundational water supply for the San Diego region that minimizes vulnerability to drought and other water supply emergencies. The facility is the largest, most technologically advanced and energy-efficient desalination plant in the nation, and it has provided a sustainable water supply to residents and businesses in San Diego County since December 2015.

Core water resource

“As we mark this achievement, water from the seawater desalination plant continues to reduce our dependence on imported water sources, which has the effect of making more water available for drought-stricken communities elsewhere,” said Mel Katz, Board chair for the San Diego County Water Authority. “Since coming online in 2015, the Carlsbad Desalination Plant has met nearly 10% of the region’s water demand, and it will be a core water resource for decades to come.”

Desalination plant-Carlsbad-desalinated water-water supply-primary

The San Diego County Water Authority added desalinated seawater to its supply portfolio in 2015 with the start of commercial operations at the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

“Reaching 100 billion gallons demonstrates the value, effectiveness, and reliability of the desalination plant, as it produces high-quality water to help meet the needs of the region’s residents and businesses,” said Channelside President, Sachin Chawla.

The desalination plant is a key piece of the region’s multi-decade strategy to diversify its water supply portfolio. A 30-year Water Purchase Agreement between Poseidon (Channelside) LP and the Water Authority allows for the production of up to 56,000 acre-feet of water per year, enough to meet the needs of approximately 400,000 people.

100 billion gallons-reverse osmosis-seawater desalination

Reverse osmosis is the heart of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant. During this process, dissolved salt and other minerals are separated from the water, making it fit for consumption. This reverse osmosis building contains more than 2,000 pressure vessels housing more than 16,000 reverse osmosis membranes. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

Reverse osmosis technology

Desalination uses reverse osmosis technology to remove water molecules from seawater. Water from the ocean is forced through tightly-wrapped, semipermeable membranes under very high pressure. The membranes allow the smaller water molecules to pass through, leaving salt and other impurities to be discharged from the facility.

More information about the desalination plant is at carlsbaddesal.com and sdcwa.org.

Third Consecutive Dry, Warm Winter Projected for San Diego Amid Statewide Drought

Even with the recent wet weather in San Diego County, climate change is rapidly accelerating in California, according to a new state report.

Alex Tardy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, explained how that can affect the state’s water supply.

“Our long term deficits are still significant in Southern California and especially in Northern California. And the overall water supply being at its lowest state on record for the Colorado system and near record lows even for California,” Tardy said.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Hits Milestone 100 Billion Gallons Served

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant has served more than 100 billion gallons of water over the past seven years — a milestone reached in late October, the San Diego County Water Authority and plant owners announced Tuesday.

The plant, which produces 50 million gallons of drinking water daily, enough for 400,000 homes meeting 10% of San Diego County’s water demand, is the largest in the United States.

Colorado River Basin-drought-Water conservation

Water Conservation is Critical in San Diego County as Colorado River Declines

Sandra L. Kerl, general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s 24-month projection for water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell.

“Today’s announcement by the Bureau of Reclamation is a reminder of just how important it is to increase water conservation across San Diego County and the rest of the arid West. An increasingly hot and dry climate is creating unprecedented challenges for water supplies that will impact life in the Southwest for the foreseeable future.

“The San Diego County Water Authority continues to participate in discussions about the future of the Colorado River. We also continue to highlight the value of the conserved water transfer agreement between the Water Authority and the Imperial Irrigation District, the cornerstone of the landmark Quantification Settlement Agreement, or QSA, negotiated in 2003, as well as our investments in concrete lining sections of the All-American and Coachella Canals to conserve water previously lost to seepage. Through the QSA, the Water Authority funds critical conservation efforts in the Imperial Valley that provide the San Diego County region 277,700 acre-feet of highly reliable, cost-effective conserved water supplies each year. Further, the QSA enables California to live within its historic 4.4-million-acre-foot annual Colorado River apportionment while providing a roadmap for current efforts to balance the complex economic, agriculture, environmental, most notably the Salton Sea, and water-use needs in the Colorado River Basin.

Colorado River water

“The Water Authority has not been asked to make any voluntary reductions to Colorado River water supplied by IID under Reclamation’s call for additional basin-wide conservation. If cuts were deemed mandatory to IID through an official Secretarial declared shortage to Priority 3 water in California, the Water Authority would take a pro-rata reduction of its IID transfer supplies.

“Investments by San Diego County residents in other water sources and storage facilities will continue to shield the region from the worst effects of the drought. At the same time, the potential for mandated water-use reductions should inspire every San Diegan to decrease their water use, for instance, by taking shorter showers, reducing irrigation of decorative grass, and upgrading to efficient appliances.”

— Sandra L. Kerl, General Manager, San Diego County Water Authority

(Editor’s note: Photos and text featured in the August 2022 issue of Contractor News & Views. The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $240 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. The Water Authority works closely with its 24 member agencies to provide safe, reliable water service to the region. )

How San Diego Secured its Water Supply, at a Cost

As a worsening drought forces millions of Californians to face mandatory water restrictions, one corner of Southern California has largely shielded itself from supply-related woes: San Diego County.

For Western water planners, the path it took to get there serves either as a blueprint or a cautionary tale.

Over the past three decades, San Diego County diversified its water supply, ramped up conservation and invested in big-ticket water infrastructure including the Western hemisphere’s largest desalination plant, which removes salt and impurities from ocean water. As a result, the water agency that serves 24 water utilities including the city of San Diego says it can avoid cuts until at least 2045, even during dry periods.

Opinion: Why San Diego County Should Be Spared Mandatory California Water Cutbacks

Mandatory water cutbacks sure seem inevitable, even imminent, in California, by the numbers, by the images of emptying reservoirs, by the arc of history.

California just had its hottest summer on record, tying the 1936 Dust Bowl summer with average temperatures 2.6 degrees above normal. California also just had its second driest water year on record and worst since 1924, with just 11.87 inches of rain and snow statewide, about half the average. And California is in its second-worst year ever for wildfire damage, with nearly 2.5 million acres burned as of this month. The only worse year for that? 2020.

Water Authority Offers to Help Parched Areas of California with Stored Supply in Central Valley

The San Diego County Water Authority’s board has directed its staff to explore opportunities to help other water districts weather an emerging drought across California.

The authority said that because of three decades of investment in supply reliability, along with a continued emphasis on water-use efficiency, the San Diego region has sufficient water supplies for multiple dry years.

Those investments include high-priority Colorado River water from the Imperial Valley, seawater desalination, and access to the Semitropic Original Water Bank in Kern County, where the authority has stored about 16,000 acre-feet of water — enough to supply more than 30,000 homes for a full year.

Quality of Life Dashboard for San Diego County Highlights Water Use

Water use in the San Diego region was one of the positive trends in the 2020 Quality of Life Dashboard report released today by the Equinox Project. The Quality of Life Dashboard measures and benchmarks environmental and economic trends throughout the region. Half of the 16 indicators used to measure San Diego County’s quality of life were either positive or neutral in 2019.