From the Board Officers and General Manager
One big takeaway emerged in Fiscal Year 2017: Decades of diligent planning by the San Diego County Water Authority allowed the San Diego region to exit an epic drought stronger than when it began five years earlier. That’s a remarkable accomplishment, and it highlights the Water Authority’s core values. At the Water Authority, we are pioneering, visionary, agile and driven.
Strategic Resource Management
The Water Authority’s focus on sustainability achieved national recognition from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, and that commitment showed as the Water Authority redoubled its pioneering efforts to educate residents and businesses about the need to continue making the most of every drop, no matter the weather. With Live WaterSmart as the rallying cry, regional water use didn’t spike after drought regulations were lifted. In fact, it remained roughly 20 percent below 2013 levels – a testament to the region’s sustainability ethic.
Assuring Water Supply Reliability
The Water Authority’s visionary strategy to diversify water supplies and enhance infrastructure paid off in big ways during the fiscal year. The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant successfully completed its first full year of operations and helped the Water Authority earn the Award for Excellence from the nation’s largest statewide coalition of water agencies. At the same time, the Water Authority executed a historic local water transfer that increased rainfall capture during the unusually wet winter.
Infrastructure Resiliency & Capability
At the heart of the Water Authority is a driven, efficient and cutting-edge team dedicated to the long-term operation and maintenance of the region’s large-scale water infrastructure. The fruits of that non-stop effort were evident in 2017, when the agency marked the 25th anniversary of its Asset Management Program and neared the halfway point of its pipeline relining initiative.
Dedicated Leadership and Outreach
The Water Authority stepped forward in numerous ways during the fiscal year, promoting water-saving resources, successfully sponsoring legislation to improve resource efficiency, and increasing community engagement in water issues through enhanced social media opportunities and a revamped water-themed exhibit at the Fleet Science Center.
Strong Financial Management
Strategic stewardship of the Water Authority’s financial resources enables the agency to perform its core function of delivering a safe and reliable water supply and to embrace its core characteristics – pioneering, visionary, agile and driven. By adopting a two-year budget, the Board of Directors emphasized a continued focus on innovation and efficiencies. At the same time, the Board adopted some of the smallest rate increases in the past decade, maintaining its commitment to delivering safe water at a reasonable cost.