The Water Authority's Regional Water Facilities Optimization and Master Plan Update is a comprehensive evaluation of infrastructure requirements needed to meet the Water Authority's mission of providing a safe and reliable water supply to its member agencies. The master plan includes recommendations on new pipelines, treatment plants, and storage facilities, as well as improvements to existing facilities, needed to assure the Water Authority's mission is achieved in a cost-effective manner through a 2035 planning horizon.
The Water Authority is has recently completed an update to its 2003 Regional Water Facilities Master Plan. This 2013 Regional Water Facilities Optimization and Master Plan Update is intended to serve as the agency’s roadmap for new infrastructure development through a planning horizon that extends out to 2035. The 2013 Master Plan Update will support future decisions on the need and timing of new facilities that may be required to assure the Water Authority's mission of delivering a safe and reliable water supply is achieved in a cost-effective manner.
Over the last 20 years, the Water Authority has made substantial investments in new pipelines, treatment plants, water supply development, and storage reservoirs. These investments have significantly improved the San Diego region’s overall water reliability. Looking forward, the 2013 Master Plan Update is able to focus on optimizing these recent improvements while maintaining the flexibility to adjust to a range of future planning outcomes. The planning approach adopted by the 2013 Master Plan Update considers the “new normal” of reduced water sales volumes, a greater emphasis on local supply development and conservation, and the need to better manage energy use and seek opportunities to increase renewable energy production.
The 2013 Master Plan Update has been a region-wide planning effort incorporating projections for future water demands and water supplies from the 2010 Urban Water Management Plan. Both the UWMP and the 2013 Master Plan Update use a scenario planning approach to assess supply and demand. This approach evaluates potential risks to supply reliability and stress-tests the ability of the Water Authority’s existing aqueduct system and local drinking water treatment plants to meet future operating conditions. As the San Diego region continues to grow, the 2013 Master Plan Update has considered infrastructure alternatives that include development of new local supplies or increased imported supply reliance to close any projected gaps between future demands and supplies.
Preparation of the 2013 Master Plan Update followed the same planning principles as the Water Authority’s earlier 2003 document, and helps define the Water Authority’s capital improvement program. In addition to the 2013 Master Plan Update document, a Supplemental Program Environmental Impact Report (SPEIR) and a Climate Action Plan (CAP) were also prepared to address in a comprehensive manner potential environmental and cumulative impacts in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32). All three planning documents were released on November 22, 2013 for a public review and comment period. The public review comment period ended January 16, 2014. The final SPEIR on the 2013 Master Plan Update and CAP will be considered for certification and approval by the Board of Directors at the monthly Board meeting on March 27, 2014.