WaterSource New Masthead


April 14, 2014  
In This Issue
Facilties Master Plan Approved
MWD Raises Rates
Snowpack Still Below Normal
Smartphone Photo Contest Winners
Annual Report Available
Latest Channel
H2O Videos
Spring Plant Fairs 2014
Spring Plant Fairs 2014

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San Diego County Water Authority

Long-Term Plans for Water Facilities and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Approved
San Vicente Dam

At its March meeting, the Water Authority's Board of Directors unanimously adopted an updated water facilities master plan and a Climate Action Plan, along with an environmental analysis of the two long-range strategies. The package will serve as a roadmap through 2035 for future capital projects and responding to climate change as it relates to activities within the agency.


Regional infrastructure development and water conservation efforts over the past decade allowed the Water Authority to defer two major projects and reduce projected capital improvement program costs by $653 million through 2025. In addition, the approved documents show that recent Water Authority investments in new energy generation will allow the agency to meet 2020 state targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent.


Click here for additional information.

MWD Raises Rates, Despite Over-Collecting by $352 million


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on April 8 raised rates unnecessarily for 2015 and 2016 despite having projected cash reserves of $840 million - an amount that is $352 million above its board-adopted maximum reserve limit. MWD's board also voted to spend the over-collected revenue on unbudgeted expenses. A decision to raise property taxes was postponed until August.


Officials from the Water Authority and several of its 24 member agencies attended the hearing as well as two prior hearings in Los Angeles to urge a no vote. Several Water Authority member agencies and organizations, including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, also sent letters protesting the over-collection and increases. 


In February, mayors of 14 cities in San Diego County called on their colleagues across Southern California to protest the over-collection and the planned rate increases by MWD. In March, the Water Authority used MWD's own financial documents to develop estimates for how much money MWD is over-collecting from each water agency that buys water from MWD. The analysis is at www.mwdfacts.com.


In addition to opposing MWD's rate proposal for 2015 and 2016, the Water Authority has sued MWD for setting rates that illegally overcharge San Diego County ratepayers in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis E. Karnow tentatively ruled on Feb. 25 that MWD's rates violate Proposition 26, a measure passed by voters in November 2010 to stop the very kind of taxes MWD is imposing on ratepayers, which exceed the true costs of providing service.   Numerous California statutes, the California Constitution and common law all require that public agencies such as MWD base their rates on the actual costs of the services provided. To read more about the litigation, go to http://www.sdcwa.org/mwdrate-challenge.


Click here for additional information.


Despite Recent Storms, Drought Conditions Persist

The April 1 snow survey conducted by the state Department of Water Resources showed an increase to the snowpack, but not nearly enough to help alleviate dry conditions. The water content was only 32 percent of normal for this time of year. The final survey for the year will be held on May 1.

Click here for more information on local drought response.

Love Your Water Smartphone Photo Contest Winners 

Saunie Holloway's winning photo of Old Mission Dam.



















Wally Nell's winning photo of a tree reflected in the hood of his car.





















Congratulations to Saundra Holloway and Wally Nell, the two grand prize winners of the Water Authority's second annual "Love Your Water" smartphone photo contest! Saundra's photo of the Old Mission Dam on the San Diego River was selected as a grand prize winner by a panel of Board members and Water Authority staff for its creativity, composition and connection to the contest theme, of expressing how important water is to their lives and the region. Wally's photo of a tree reflected in the rain-dappled hood of his car was selected as the people's choice photo by generating the most Facebook "likes." Both winners live in El Cajon.


Saundra and Wally each are winners of a one-night stay at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, a gift certificate to Lou and Mickey's restaurant, an annual family membership to The Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon, and two passes to the garden's Dorcas E. Utter Butterfly Pavilion. Thank you to our generous sponsors!


The Water Authority also selected four finalist photos. Congratulations to Mark Robak, Nathan Valenzuela for two of his photos, and Linda Wright. To view all the photos, click here.


Have You Seen Our Annual Report?  
Fill out our survey and get a free showertimer!  


It's no exaggeration to say that fiscal year 2013 was historic for water supply reliability in the San Diego region.


The Water Authority approved a landmark agreement to buy water from what will be the nation's largest seawater desalination plant. The San Vicente Dam Raise - the nation's tallest dam-raise project - reached its new full height. There was also a major court victory that validated the 2003 Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement, the cornerstone of the Water Authority's long-term strategy for water supply diversification.

We invite you to learn more about these achievements and many more examples of how the dedicated, relentless work of the Water Authority helped to provide you with safe, reliable water.


Click here to see the online annual report, which includes videos, animations, and links to more-in-depth information.  


When you are done, click on "Give Us Feedback" to fill out the online survey and we'll send you a five-minute showertimer!  

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 $191 billion economy and quality of life of 3.1 million residents.