The San Diego region surged ahead in Fiscal Year 2018 with strong economic numbers to accompany our unrivaled quality of life. Jobs expanded. Tourism thrived. The housing market flourished. Construction activity advanced. And venture capital investments continued to grow. In other words, San Diego did what San Diego does best.

Behind the scenes, the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies did what we do best, providing the safe and reliable water supplies necessary to sustain 3.3 million people and a $220 billion economy each and every day regardless of weather conditions or other challenges.

For the Water Authority, the year included numerous achievements:

  • Securing transfers of conserved water from the Imperial Irrigation District through 2047
  • Completing substantial upgrades to our large-scale water delivery system
  • Adopting some of the lowest water rate increases in 15 years
  • Enhancing our cyber-security defenses
  • Developing and deploying numerous innovative technologies
  • Building momentum for restoration at the Salton Sea
  • Helping defeat an ill-conceived statewide water tax

We also benefitted significantly from our successful rate case litigation against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which substantially increased our rights to MWD water and prevented $15 million a year in illegal overcharges by MWD. One result is that the Water Authority’s independent Colorado River supplies are now both less expensive and more reliable than water from MWD, a testament to the value of the historic water conservation-and-transfer deal the Water Authority signed in 2003.

This past year also included the launch of a new outreach and education program called Brought to You by Water – because everything we love about San Diego is the result of a safe and reliable water supply. Even though most people don’t think about it, water is the fundamental resource necessary to fuel vital industries such as tourism, manufacturing, brewing, agriculture, and many others that drive our economy.

What we do at the Water Authority makes possible everything else that happens in this region, and we are both immensely proud of that and committed to securing reliable water supplies for decades to come. Because this San Diego life is Brought to You by Water.

As part of the Brought to You by Water program, eight San Diego County leaders shared their views on the importance of safe and reliable water supplies.

Lisa Peterson, San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Sara Giobbi, General Dynamics NASSCO
Laurie Britton, Café Virtuoso
Jessica Hunter, Del Rey Avocado
Joe Terzi, San Diego Tourism Authority
Monique Rodriguez, Qualcomm
Chris Cramer, Karl Strauss Brewing Co.
Ismael Resendiz, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers

2018 by the Numbers


Months in the year with hotter-than-average temperatures

$200 million

Funding for Salton Sea projects in Proposition 68


Square feet of the Water Authority's new demonstration garden


Annual savings expected from in-house operations of the Lake Hodges Hydroelectric and Pump Station Facility


Miles of large-diameter pipeline relining completed or in-process


Valve actuators replaced systemwide


Percent increase in treated water rates in 2019


Percent increase in untreated water rates in 2019


Innovations proposed through the Bright Ideas program


Water Authority's cost for installing seven electric vehicle charging stations


Estimated savings generated by insurance review

$482 million

Daily regional sales supported by safe, reliable water supplies