Facilities Optimization and Master Plan

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Facilities Optimization and Master Plan

Strategic planning effort targets long-term water needs

As the peak era of construction for the Capital Improvement Program winds down, the Water Authority is assessing changing supply and demand conditions to forecast what improvements to the regional water system will be needed to ensure safe and reliable supplies in coming decades. The resulting blueprint – the 2013 Regional Water Facilities Optimization and Master Plan – will enhance the Water Authority’s efforts to achieve its mission in a cost-effective manner through 2035.

The master plan update – developed in coordination with member agencies – came into greater focus during a series of board presentations. In addition, a public comment period for scoping the related environmental document closed in May. When completed, it will identify how to maximize the benefits of existing facilities such as pipelines; develop a regional strategy for surface water storage; assess renewable energy opportunities; account for more local supply development; and evaluate the need for new infrastructure and water supplies.

In preparing the 2013 master plan update, the Water Authority adapted to the “new normal” of reduced water sales in the region, greater emphasis on water conservation and local water supply development, and the agency’s shift from a “building” organization to one that is more focused on asset management, facilities optimization, operations and maintenance.

The Water Authority is using a scenario-planning approach to assess supply and demand over two decades and determine potential risks to supply reliability. It also uses computer simulations to model the performance of the different facility alternatives that could augment the Water Authority's current system. 






Internship program fosters new generation of skilled operators

The San Diego Regional Water/Wastewater Internship Program, designed to educate the next generation of water utility system operators, continued to grow in its eighth year. As the water and wastewater industry experiences increased demand for qualified staff, this program provides local students with career opportunities and on-the-job experience.

The program, which boasts a hire rate of 84 percent, received 180 applications for 2013-2014. It was developed by the Water Authority in collaboration with community colleges, private sector partners and the host water agencies that provide internship opportunities related to the supply, treatment and distribution of water and wastewater. Twelve interns were selected to participate in the latest session.