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There's much more than rain.

Desalinated Water


Voice of San Diego 5/27/15

Desal Deal Leaves San Diego With Extra Water in Drought


"Despite the drought, the Water Authority expects to have 99 percent of the water it needs to meet customer demands, even if customers don’t take any extra steps to save water. . . . The Water Authority expects to have between 50,000 and 80,000 acre feet to store this year in San Vicente [reservoir] because state regulations won’t allow it to be used. . . .


"Keith Lewinger, a member of the Water Authority’s board of directors, used a common refrain from other San Diego officials: Mother Nature created a drought in California, but the state government created the water shortage in San Diego. He compared San Diego to the ants in Aesop’s Fables, which gather food for winter as the grasshopper idles away the summer days. The ants of San Diego invested in the desalination plant, and the grasshopper in other parts of California that did not do as much."

"Reclaimed Water
San Diego Union Tribune 4/27/15

"Two San Diego water treatment plants take in 23 million gallons a day and prepare them for use in "purple pipes" for reclaimed water. Because of a limited transmission system, only 12 million gallons a day on average are used, even though customers like Caltrans are ready to use more. The rest is pumped back into the sewer system, treated in Point Loma, and sent into the ocean. [U-T file]


"San Diego has built two reclamation plants that cost more than $300 million, but the system of “purple pipes” needed to transmit the water to willing and able customers like Caltrans has not been built out.

As a result, more than half of the water processed by the plants each

year is pumped back into the sewage system, where it is treated again and then dumped into the ocean.


"The San Diego City Council also issued a mandate in 1989, ordering

everyone who could feasibly use reclaimed water to do so. Because the infrastructure is not in place, use of reclaimed water has remained infeasible for most water customers.


"Officials with the city said that expanding the purple pipe system is

expensive and slow work. . .


"San Diego has more than

600 meters serving customers for reclaimed water, and 130 of those

have been added since 2009. The meters are served by 93 miles of

purple pipes, up from 88 in 2009. "



Plenty for All

The New Normal

Water Supply and Governor's

Emergency Order May 2015

Olivenhein Municipal Water District

Comments to the State Water Control Board on May 13, 2015


"Bottom line is adequate supplies."


"Told them that we were not in a supply shortage and that we paid more for these highly reliable supplies but are at a loss how to communicate that we can not allow our customers to use the supply available.


"OMWD budgeted supplies from SDCWA for FY15 are 20,078 acre feet


"1,825 acre feet more in FY 16 than FY 15

 –(Does not include offsets for very recent recycled water conversions.)


"Bottom line is adequate supplies."



Santa Fe Irrigation District:


"We are not in a water supply shortage,"  Jessica Parks, Public Information Officer/ Management Analyst


"Our ratepayers have invested in a diverse water supply portfolio helping to shield our regional from the worst effects of the drought. The San Diego County Water Authority has invested $2 billion over the past decade in new, large-scale water infrastructure projects that are contributing to a more reliable water supply. 

  • Water transfers that are part of the historic 2003 Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement will provide 180,000 acre-feet of highly reliable supplies to the San Diego region this year. 

  • The Carlsbad Desalination project will provide even more help in the future, delivering up to 18 billion gallons of drought-proof, highly reliable water each year starting in early 2016."



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