WaterSource New Masthead


July 16, 2014  
In This Issue
Historic San Vicente Dam Raise Project Completed
Mandatory Water-Use Restrictions
H2O Videos
Support Grows for Water Reuse
Support Grows for Water Reuse

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San Diego County Water Authority

Historic San Vicente Dam Raise  

Project Completed 

Largest water storage increase in county history adds 152,000 acre-feet of capacity   



Board Chair Thomas V. Wornham speaks at the
San Vicente Dam Raise Dedication.

 The largest water storage project in San Diego County history is complete, providing the region with a critical hedge against future water shortages.


The San Vicente Dam Raise project adds 152,000 acre-feet of water storage capacity to the reservoir, enough to serve more than 300,000 homes for a year. Filling the reservoir will take two to five years, depending on water supply and demand conditions statewide. The newly added storage volume is greater than any reservoir in the county.


Approximately 200 state and local water leaders, elected officials, civic and business leaders, and community stakeholders attended a dam raise dedication celebration at the project site on Wednesday.


Preparatory work on the foundation for the enlarged San Vicente Dam began in June 2009, and construction concluded in June 2014.  The dam now stands 337 feet tall, an increase of 117 feet. It was the tallest dam raise in the nation and the tallest in the world using a construction technique called roller-compacted concrete. Roller-compacted concrete is just as strong as conventional concrete but takes less time and water. It is placed in layers, one on top of the other, in a process that resembles road construction.
Now that work is finished on the dam, remaining construction projects in the area include the completion of a new, improved marina that will feature twice as many boat launch lanes, a longer boat ramp and more parking spaces. In addition, a new pipeline will be built for the city of San Diego to replace a section that will be under water when the expanded reservoir is full. The ancillary projects are expected to be completed in 2015.


Click here for more information.  

Water Authority Recommends Mandatory Water-Use Restrictions

In response to deepening drought conditions and new statewide directives, the Water Authority staff will recommend that the agency's Board of Directors activate the next stage of the region's drought response plan next week and declare a Level 2 Drought Alert calling for mandatory water conservation measures to prevent water waste. The actions would help San Diego County keep as much water as possible in storage for 2015 and comply with emergency water conservation mandates approved on Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board.


State regulations, which are focused on ornamental landscapes and turf grass that use potable water, take effect Aug. 1. The Water Authority's Board will consider its response at its next meeting on July 24.


The region's Model Drought Response Ordinance identifies four levels of drought response with progressive water-use restrictions designed to align demand with supply during water shortages. The Board declared a Level 1 Drought Watch condition on Feb. 13. Level 1 outlines a number of voluntary practices to encourage increased water conservation. Level 2 makes Level 1 measures mandatory, and it adds outdoor watering restrictions such as limiting landscape irrigation to no more than three days per week. During the months of November through May, landscape irrigation is limited to no more than once per week.   


Local rules may vary based on regulations adopted by member agencies. City councils and water district boards will have to take action to activate mandatory water-use restrictions in their jurisdictions.  


Level 2 mandatory conservation measures in the model ordinance include:

  • Limiting outdoor watering days and times
  • Watering only during the late evening or early morning hours
  • Eliminating runoff from irrigation systems
  • Repairing all leaks within 72 hours
  • Turning off water fountains and other water features unless they use recycled water
  • Using hoses with shut-off valves for washing cars (or patronizing commercial car washes that re-circulate water)
  • Serving water to restaurant patrons only upon request
  • Offering hotel guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily
  • Using recycled or non-potable water for construction when available
Click here for more information on this issue.


Click here for more information on water-efficiency rebates and incentives in your area.  

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.