From the Board Officers and General Manager

From the
Board Officers and General Manager

In 2012, a gallon of water from the tap in San Diego County cost, on average, about two-thirds of a penny.

While the cost of a gallon is small, the real value of that water is much, much greater. Every drop helps sustain San Diego County’s high quality of life. Each gallon supports thousands of jobs in important industries from manufacturing to biotech to tourism. The dependable flow of water, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, drives the region’s $186 billion economy and 1.3 million full-time jobs.

Through the most recent fiscal year, the San Diego County Water Authority’s work to ensure a safe, reliable water supply delivered real value for the region in many ways. The Water Authority made steady progress in building several major water infrastructure projects, including the nation’s tallest dam raise. Deliveries from its historic Colorado River water transfer agreement with the Imperial Irrigation District continued to ramp up, and an appellate court provided a major victory that ensures those transfers will continue. Staff also began negotiations on an agreement to buy water from what would be an entirely new local source -- the Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Project.

In operations, the Water Authority extended the service life of nearly three miles of pipeline and completed the installation of solar power systems at three major facilities. It also made sure water continued to flow reliably throughout the region during an unprecedented emergency – the September 8, 2011 countywide power outage.

The Water Authority also fought for ratepayers to help keep the costs of a reliable water supply as low as possible. It expanded its legal challenge to protect residents and businesses from overcharges imposed by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Together with its member agencies and a group of motivated citizens, the Water Authority also successfully lobbied MWD to reduce its proposed 2013 rate increases, saving local ratepayers $5 million. 

The Water Authority also worked aggressively to control its own costs, including taking advantage of favorable market conditions several times to refinance its debt portfolio and trim tens of millions of dollars from future financing costs for its $3.5 billion Capital Improvement Program.

Dedicated, relentless work to provide safe, reliable water. That’s real value for San Diego County.