WaterSource New Masthead


August 2013    
In This Issue
Water Authority Reviews Bay-Delta Options
Trial Date in MWD Lawsuit
Hydropower Explored at San Vicente
Toilet Rebates Return
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Learn More about the Bay-Delta

Special Board Meeting on Aug. 8
1:30 p.m.

Overview of Bay-Delta and proposals for a Delta fix
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San Diego County Water Authority

Water Authority Seeks Right-Sized,
Cost-Effective Bay-Delta Plan

Bay Delta

Over the course of the next several months, the Water Authority Board of Directors will review alternatives for fixing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta to determine which one best achieves the Board's overall goal of improved water supply reliability from the Bay-Delta at a cost the region's ratepayers can afford.


To date, the Water Authority has not endorsed any specific project or  proposal for improving water conveyance through or around the Bay-Delta, which provides about 20 percent of the region's water supplies. In recent years, the Bay-Delta has become less reliable as a supply source and its habitat has deteriorated, increasing concerns over ecosystem viability.

In 2012, the Water Authority Board adopted policy principles related to the Bay-Delta that call for actions and projects that meet the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and environmental restoration. The policies are designed to identify solutions that are cost-effective, sized correctly and can secure long-term funding sources.

  Rate Lawsuits Against MWD
Go to Trial Dec. 17

scales of justice  


A San Francisco Superior Court judge has set Dec. 17 as the trial start date for the Water Authority's two lawsuits challenging rates set by the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.


The Water Authority sued MWD in 2010 and again in 2012 for imposing illegal rates that are not based on the costs of providing the services for which they are collected. Numerous California statutes, the California Constitution and common law all require that public water agencies such as MWD set rates based on the actual costs of services rendered.


"MWD has been and is continuing to overcharge San Diego County residents by tens of millions of dollars each year as a result of its unlawful rates," said Daniel Purcell, special counsel for the Water Authority with the law firm of Keker & Van Nest in San Francisco. "That's what we're going to prove at trial.  We asked the court to set a trial date before the end of the year, and we're looking forward to trying the case in December."


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Water Authority Explores Hydroelectricity at San Vicente Dam
San Vicente Dam and Reservoir

The Water Authority, in partnership with the city of San Diego, is preparing to assess the potential for a major hydroelectric power project at San Vicente Reservoir to boost the region's local energy supply now that the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is permanently offline.

The proposed pumped storage project could generate up to 500 megawatts, enough power for approximately 325,000 homes. It would require the construction of a small reservoir in the hills above San Vicente Reservoir, along with other facilities.

Power would be generated during peak-demand periods by allowing water to flow downhill in a tunnel from the upper reservoir and turn turbines before entering the San Vicente Reservoir. Water would be pumped back uphill during off-peak periods much like it is at the Water Authority's 40-megawatt pumped storage project that connects Hodges Reservoir with Olivenhain Reservoir. That kind of arrangement allows the Water Authority to generate power when it's needed most and generate revenues for offsetting expenses.


The Water Authority, in cooperation with the city of San Diego, is reviewing proposals by firms that will conduct a study to evaluate the economic and financial requirements of a pumped storage facility at San Vicente. The study will include an analysis of the power market, potential sites for an upper reservoir, regional power needs, and associated construction and operating costs.


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Toilet Rebates Return!

San Diego County homeowners can now get rebates of up to $50 and businesses can get rebates of up to $200 for purchasing highly efficient toilets as part of extensive regional efforts to promote wise use of water.


While many homeowners and businesses have upgraded to more efficient toilets in recent years, manufacturers have continued to reduce the amount of water necessary for each flush as regulatory standards evolve.


Compared to toilets that use 3.5 or 5 gallons per flush, new WaterSense toilets certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can save 63 to 74 percent per flush. Even homes and businesses with more modern toilets that use 1.6 gallons per flush can trim water use significantly by upgrading to WaterSense high-efficiency models that use 1.28 gallons per flush.


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 $188 billion economy and quality of life of 3.1 million residents.