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2021 Annual Report
2021 Annual Report

2021 Annual Report

Communication and Collaboration


S.D. Water Agencies Help California Address Energy Shortages

Water agencies across San Diego County did their part to stabilize the state’s power grid during a record-setting heatwave in August 2020 by generating hydropower and altering operations to trim electricity demands – and these agencies also are developing long-term solutions to reduce future energy shortages.

At Lake Hodges, the Water Authority ran its pumped energy storage facility to meet peak demands as August temperatures peaked. When water flows down the pipeline from Olivenhain Reservoir into Lake Hodges, it generates up to 40 megawatts of energy on demand, helping to manage temporary peak electrical demands or unplanned outages. The water is then pumped back to Olivenhain Reservoir when power demands are low to restart the cycle.

In addition, water agencies took numerous actions to conserve energy as power-grid challenges peaked. For the Water Authority, that strategy included temporarily reducing drinking water production at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in collaboration with Poseidon Water in a way that didn’t impact drinking water reliability for the region.

“Our current situation is the direct result of insufficient planning; the state clearly needs additional energy storage now and will need much more in the future. Environmentally friendly pumped storage projects should be started immediately to address this shortfall, or power reliability will get significantly worse. The San Vicente project can be started now at no cost to taxpayers – users only pay when the project comes online.”
Gary Bousquet
Engineering Director
Water Authority