Agencies Reach Agreement over Water Deliveries

April 22, 2021

Agreement will end litigation, promote collaborative future

The San Diego County Water Authority and the Vallecitos Water District have reached agreement over pipeline repairs and how to measure water deliveries while moving ahead as partners to ensure long-term water supply reliability.

The Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday approved terms of a settlement with Vallecitos designed to end litigation filed in 2020. Vallecitos’ Board of Directors previously approved the terms.

A pipeline repair in late 2017 brought to light differences in how the two agencies interpreted their agreement for water deliveries from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which opened in 2015 and has produced more than 70 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water. The differences were over the timing and makeup of water deliveries, along with the responsibility for repairs to facilities that connect the Water Authority’s desalinated water pipeline to a Vallecitos pipeline.

“We appreciate Vallecitos’ willingness to resolve these complex issues in a collaborative manner,” said Water Authority Board Chair Gary Croucher. “We came to an equitable solution, and I’m delighted to put this behind us as we work together to provide safe and reliable water supplies across San Diego County.”

Vallecitos Board President Mike Sannella expressed similar sentiments: “Our agencies have been partners in the critical mission of water supply reliability for decades, and we will continue our collaboration to support our ratepayers and the region. This is a great example of how two parties can find common ground for the good of everyone involved.”

The Water Authority is the regional water supplier and planning agency, serving 24 member agencies and 3.3 million residents from Oceanside to San Ysidro. Vallecitos serves a population of more than 105,000 within its 45-square-mile boundary in North County. For more than 65 years, it has provided water, wastewater, and reclamation services to San Marcos; the community of Lake San Marcos; parts of Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista and other unincorporated areas.

  • The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $268 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 23 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.

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