The San Diego County Water Authority board of directors today approved actions to expand its water treatment policies and to solicit proposals for design, construction and operation of additional treatment plant capacity in the San Diego region. Today’s actions were taken as part of the board’s ongoing effort to diversify and improve the reliability of the Authority’s water resources.
“The County Water Authority has primarily depended on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and our member agencies’ local treatment plants to provide treated water capacity for the San Diego region,” said Jim Turner, Authority board chairman. “By developing Authority-owned water treatment capacity, we diversify our options and can assure our member agencies of an adequate, reliable supply of treated water for the future.”
The board authorized staff to issue requests for proposals (RFP) to design, build and operate 25- to 100–million-gallons-per-day (mgd) of Authority-owned treatment capacity and to evaluate proposals, select contractors and negotiate contracts.
The action also authorizes the awarding of a professional services agreement, not to exceed $100,000, to develop the RFP and selection criteria and adds a water treatment plant project with a budget of $500,000 to the Authority’s Capital Improvement Program to fund the initial effort.
The board’s policy actions provide for the case-by-case evaluation of the need for Authority-owned treatment plant(s), the institution of a treated water charge for each acre-foot of treated water supplied by the Authority, and the creation of a price incentive program for large users of treated water.
According to John Economides, director of Engineering at the Authority, the agency has identified water treatment capacity as the most critical near-term facility need.
“Between now and 2010, the San Diego region will need more water treatment plant capacity than is currently available,” Economides said. “An additional 50- to 100- million-gallons-per-day (mgd) of treatment capacity is need by the year 2007 to meet potential peak demands.”
The Authority would establish a pricing incentive program to encourage large water users to voluntarily reduce peak demands for treated water when requested by the Authority. Users who sign up for the program will receive special pricing for treated water in return for limiting their use of treated water during times of high demand.
The County Water Authority will continue to purchase available treated water from both MWD and the Authority’s member agencies’ treatment plants. Today’s board actions will allow the Authority to proactively address future treated water needs. In addition to the development of Authority-owned treatment facilities, the Authority will explore partnering with member agencies to expand existing treatment plants or build new plants to increase the overall treated water capacity in the system.
The San Diego County Water Authority is a public agency serving the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water from Northern California and the Colorado River. The Water Authority works through its 23 member agencies to provide a safe, reliable water supply to almost three million county residents.
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