- Mission, Vision, Values & Strategies
- Frequently Asked Questions & Key Facts
- Member Agencies
- Job Opportunities
- How to apply to the Water Authority
- Benefits Summary
- Documents and Resources
- Our Offices
- Contact Us
- Board of
- Enhancing Water Supply Reliability
- Future Planning
- Local Supplies
- Imported Supplies
- Water Shortage and Drought Response
- Regional Water Use
- Water Quality
Facilities & Operations
- Construction Projects
- Project & Facility Tours
- Facilities & Operations
- Environmental Programs & Sustainability
- Emergency Preparedness & Security
- Right of Way
- Purchasing Overview
- Small Contractor Outreach and Opportunities Program
- Contracting Opportunities
- Vendor Registration
- Purchasing Resources
- Finance &
- Water Rates & Charges
- Financials / Investor Relations
- Member Agency Dates and General Information
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Policies, Resolutions & Ordinances
- Community Outreach
& School Programs
- News &
After the driest three-year period on record for California, statewide water supply conditions are among the most challenging in decades – and projections are for the drought to persist or intensify across large parts of the state. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a two-in-three chance that winter precipitation will be near or above normal throughout California, but that drought recovery will be slow because of extreme precipitation deficits in recent years and low water storage reserves.
San Diego County residents are rising to the challenge by conserving water despite the challenges posed by one of the hottest years in California history. Since August, the region has saved approximately 1.1 billion gallons, enough to serve 18,800 residents for a year. And since 2007, per capita water use in the San Diego region has declined more than 20 percent. That’s quite an achievement, but one that that increases the challenge of making additional conservation gains.
As a wholesale water agency, the Water Authority coordinates drought response actions for San Diego County. The regional Model Drought Response Ordinance, adopted by the Water Authority’s Board in 2008, establishes four levels of drought response with progressive restrictions. The strategy was designed to foster regional consistency and to align demand with supply during water shortages while minimizing harm to the region’s economy.
The small Sierra Nevada snowpack means that water deliveries from Northern California will be historically low this year; the State Water Project will deliver only 5 percent of requested supplies in 2014. To make up for the shortages, water agencies are relying heavily on reserves and ramping up conservation programs to prepare for the possibility of another dry year in 2015.
The Water Authority’s Board has declared a Drought Alert condition calling for mandatory water conservation measures. All Water Authority member agencies have enacted mandatory water-use restrictions, though rules vary. For information about water-use rules by community, go to www.sdcwa.org/drought-restrictions. For details about conservation-related resources, go to www.sdcwa.org/conservation-programs-rebates.
The San Diego region’s largest water supplier, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, is expected to withdraw approximately 1.1 million acre-feet of water from storage to meet demand in its service area during 2014, reducing its reserves by about half.
The Water Authority is not anticipating reductions to its imported water supplies in 2014 that would trigger mandatory supply cutbacks to its member agencies. MWD likely will impose allocations in 2015 if conditions don’t improve this winter. However, two decades of regional investments in water supply reliability such as independent Colorado River water transfers and the Carlsbad Desalination Project will help reduce the impacts of any reductions in imported water supplies.
Water Supply Conditions and Drought Presentations