Emergency & Carryover Storage Project Wins Prestigious International Award

March 17, 2017

The San Diego County Water Authority’s $1.5 billion Emergency & Carryover Storage Project, built to protect the region from droughts and catastrophic disruptions to imported water supplies, has won one of the engineering industry’s most prestigious global awards – the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The association announced the awards late Thursday at its 2017 Outstanding Projects and Leaders awards event in Arlington, Va.  Other finalists for the award included: One World Trade Center in New York City; Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Terminal 2 in Mumbai, India; Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven, Conn.; and the Union Station to Oak Cliff Dallas Streetcar Project in Dallas, Texas.

“We’re proud to receive this distinguished recognition of the world-class infrastructure that our ratepayers have invested in over the last 25 years,” said Water Authority Board Chair Mark Muir. “It’s allowed us to put more water into local storage, even as the state grappled with devastating drought conditions for the past several years.  This system will continue to enhance the reliability of our region’s water supplies for generations to come, protecting residents and businesses from supply disruptions caused by natural disasters or the return of prolonged dry periods. This award is a testament to the drive of our Board, management, engineers and project teams to build a project that delivers these benefits with the highest levels of engineering excellence.”

The Emergency & Carryover Storage Project, begun in 1992, comprises several large dams, reservoirs, pump stations, pipelines and tunnels.  The $1.5 billion system is designed to ensure up to six months of local supplies are available and can be moved around the region after an emergency, such as an earthquake that damages the large-scale pipelines delivering imported water into the region. The E&CSP also added 100,000 acre-feet of local “carryover” storage – water stored during wet years to help meet demands in dry years. Overall it is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative infrastructure improvement projects, adding 196,000 acre-feet of locally available water storage.  Major construction of the projects was completed in 2014. (An acre-foot is approximately 325,900 gallons, enough to supply two single-family households of four for a year.)

“Anticipating problems and finding solutions is at the heart of a civil engineer’s work,” said Norma Jean Mattei, ASCE’s 2017 President. “The Water Authority planned for the future, making an investment that ensures the public’s health, safety and welfare in case of disaster.”

More information on the ASCE award is at http://news.asce.org/emergency-and-carryover-storage-project-earns-ocea/.

Major elements of the Emergency and Carryover Storage Project include:

Œ‡         Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir, Pipeline and Pump Station.The project included construction of a 318-foot-tall dam that added 24,000 acre-feet of emergency water storage. (Completed in 2003)

Œ‡         Lake Hodges Pipeline and Pump Station.The pipeline connected Olivenhain Reservoir to Lake Hodges, providing access to 20,000 acre-feet of emergency water in Lake Hodges. The pump station generates power and moves water between the reservoirs. (Pipeline completed in 2007; pump station completed and operational in 2012)

Œ‡         San Vicente Pipeline and Pump Station.The 11-mile, 12-foot-diameter tunnel and 8.5-foot-diameter pipeline connected San Vicente Reservoir to the Water Authority’s Second Aqueduct, and the pump station moves the water from the reservoir to the aqueduct. (Pump station completed in 2010; pipeline completed in 2011)

Œ‡         San Vicente Dam Raise.This project, the tallest dam raise in the nation, raised the dam by 117 feet, creating 52,100 acre-feet of emergency water storage capacity and 100,000 acre-feet of carryover storage capacity. (Completed in 2014)

The Water Authority already has used the additional storage capacity to enhance the reliability of the region’s water supply, storing more than 100,000 acre-feet of water conserved during the recent drought in San Vicente Reservoir. (The reservoir is owned and managed by the City of San Diego.)  These supplies, along with supplies from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, helped the region pass the state’s stringent water supply “stress test” in 2016, eliminating emergency state-mandated water-use reductions for the region.

More information on the E&CSP is at https://www.sdcwa.org/emergency-carryover-storage-project.

  • The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $268 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 23 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.

    Media Contact Information

    Grace Sevilla

    Phone: (619) 855-5135

    Email: GSevilla@sdcwa.org