The development of drought-resilient water resources and a sustained emphasis on water-use efficiency mean that San Diego County will continue to have a safe and reliable water supply for decades, according to the San Diego County Water Authority’s 2015 Urban Water Management Plan.
The Water Authority released its draft 2015 UWMP on April 29, 2016, starting a public comment period that included a public hearing on May 26 during the regular meeting of the Water Authority Board of Directors. The Board adopted the plan during its regular meeting on June 23, 2016.
The Water Authority developed its 2015 UWMP in coordination with its 24 member agencies. Main components of the Water Authority's plan include: baseline demand forecasts under normal weather, dry weather and climate change scenarios; conservation savings estimates and net water demand projections; a water supply assessment; supply reliability analysis; and scenario planning. The Water Authority's 2015 UWMP estimates that future water demands will be about 13 percent lower in 2020 and about 12 percent lower in 2035 compared to projections in the 2010 plan.
The 2015 UWMP follows the 2010 Urban Water Management Plan, which was adopted by the Water Authority’s Board in June 2011.
Urban Water Management Plans are important tools for reporting water agencies' long-term planning efforts to meet future demands and tracking progress toward achieving state-mandated water conservation targets. They also support state laws linking approval for large developments to water supply availability.
In 1983, the California Legislature enacted the Urban Water Management Planning Act (Division 6 Part 2.6 of the Water Code §§10610 - 10656). It requires that every urban water supplier that provides water to 3,000 or more customers, or that provides more than 3,000 acre-feet of water annually ensure the appropriate level of reliability to meet the needs of its customers during normal, dry and multiple dry years. The act describes the contents of the UWMP as well as how urban water suppliers should adopt and implement the plans. Plan updates are required every five years, and updates maintain the Water Authority's eligibility for state grants.