WaterSource New Masthead


November 2010
In This Issue
New Water Year Begins on Positive Note
Water Authority Earns Gold Award
New Website Helps Explain Bay Delta Conservation Plan
Solar Installation Estimated to Save Ratepayers $1.7 Million
Water Authority Debuts New Website
Save Energy-Save Water
Quick Links

San Diego County Water Authority


New Water Year Begins on Positive Note But Supply Challenges Persist


The 2011 water year began in October, and the San Diego region enters the new water year in better shape than a year ago.  However, the San Diego County Water Authority is still urging residents and businesses to use water wisely in light of several supply challenges that still exist.


Average to above-average rainfall locally and around California, combined with reduced water use, have raised water storage levels in key reservoirs significantly.  Lake Oroville and San Luis reservoirs, two key reservoirs in the State Water Project, have about 800,000 acre-feet more water in storage now than at this time a year ago.  Meanwhile, residential and business water use in San Diego County is down 10.4 percent for the last 12 months ending September 2010 compared to the previous 12-month period.


To view a short presentation on current water supply conditions, click here.

For current state water storage levels, click here.

Despite this good news, water supply challenges still affect the region's two main water sources - the Bay-Delta in Northern California and the Colorado River.  Water restrictions also remain in effect for most local water agencies.  Click here to find current restrictions in your area.


Water agencies expect regulatory restrictions to protect fish species will again curtail water deliveries from the State Water Project this year.  In addition, dry conditions continue in the Colorado River basin.  In October, Lake Mead, the largest reservoir on the Colorado River, fell to 1,083 ft., its lowest level since it was first filled 75 years ago.


The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation estimates that under certain hydrologic conditions, Lake Mead could drop to 1,075 feet by 2012, which would trigger water supply reductions agreed to by the seven Colorado River basin states in 2007. Those cuts affect Arizona and Nevada, but not California. If the lake falls to 1,025 feet, which the Bureau does not predict occurring in the next four to five years, the Bureau and the Colorado River states would renegotiate the shortage, which could affect California.


Recent articles in The New York Times, Time Magazine, and Voice of San Diego cover what the changing levels at Lake Mead could mean to water supplies throughout the Southwest. 


Time Magazine article

New York Times Article

Voice of San Diego Article

Bureau of Reclamation Reservoir Levels 

Water Authority Earns Gold Award for Exceptional Utility Performance


The San Diego County Water Authority earned a Gold Award for Exceptional Utility Performance from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies for its strong record of effective management and significant contributions to the drinking water industry. 


The Water Authority is one of only 13 public drinking water systems nationally to earn AMWA's outstanding achievement award for utility management.  The award was presented Oct. 26 at AMWA's Annual Meeting in Henderson, Nev. 


"For nearly two decades, the Water Authority has focused on innovative ways to maximize our region's water reliability while ensuring safe and cost-effective operations," said Michael T. Hogan, Water Authority Board Chair.  "It's gratifying to have our colleagues in the water industry recognize with this award all the hard work our board and staff have dedicated to serving our ratepayers."


To read more click here.

New Website Helps Explain Bay Delta Conservation Plan Development


A new, interactive website is available to help the public understand the planning process and alternatives being considered in the development of The Bay Delta Conservation Plan. A broad based coalition of state, federal, and local water agencies, state and federal fish agencies, environmental organizations, and other interested parties are developing the plan.


San Diego County receives as much as a third of its water from California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, but regulatory restrictions to protect threatened fish species have cut deliveries from this vital supply source in recent years. The plan will direct efforts in the Delta to restore the ecosystem and provide a more reliable water supply for 25 million Californians.


A public review draft plan is anticipated in spring or early summer 2011.


Solar Installation Estimated to Save Ratepayers $1.7 Million


The Water Authority signed a 20-year agreement with San Diego-based Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. to install and operate solar electric power systems at three major Water Authority facilities. Based on today's energy costs, the Water Authority's energy cost savings is estimated at nearly $1.7 million over the life of the contract.


Borrego Solar estimates the system will produce enough renewable energy over the next 20 years to prevent more than 70 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That's the equivalent of planting 180,000 mature trees or conserving nearly 107,000 barrels of oil.


To read more, click here.

Water Authority Debuts New Website

Site provides improved access to information through enhanced navigation and content

The San Diego County Water Authority recently redeveloped its website, www.sdcwa.org to help the public find information faster and easier through improved site navigation, more comprehensive search functions, and enhanced content. 


The new website also integrates with smart phone technology and social media applications, allowing visitors to easily view content on mobile devices and share information from the website on Facebook, Twitter, slideshare, and other popular networking platforms. 


A key feature of the new website is the incorporation of RSS feeds and email updates, which allow visitors to subscribe to notifications of Board meetings, financial and contracting information, news releases, and additional Water Authority-related topics. 


To read more, click here.

Save Energy-Save Water


The Water Authority is providing copies of its popular Nifty Fifty water smart plant guide as part of San Diego Gas & Electric's annual LED Holiday Light Exchange to help homeowners save water as well as energy.


Seven events will be held around the county for SDG&E customers to exchange up to three strands of incandescent holiday lights for an equivalent number of energy-efficient, multi-colored LED holiday lights. 


Participation in the exchange is easy; simply bring old lights to the event along with a copy of a current SDG&E bill or California ID.


For more information, or to find datesand locations near you

click here.

The San Diego County Water Authority works through its 24 member agencies to provide a safe and reliable water supply to support the region's $174 billion economy and quality of life of 3.2 million residents.