Water Authority board continues efforts to develop additional treated water capacity

 
Short Title
Water Authority board continues efforts to develop additional treated water capacity
Treated Water Shortage Peak-day management plan approved
June 27, 2003

The San Diego County Water Authority board of directors yesterday authorized staff to continue design of the Water Authority's first water treatment facility for up to a 100 million-gallon-per-day (MGD) plant at the Water Authority's Twin Oaks Valley Diversion Structure in San Marcos. Consideration of the Robert A. Weese treatment plant for the all or part of the 100 MGD plant was dropped at the recommendation of the City of Oceanside. The Weese plant will be studied for a short-term 5 MGD expansion, which could be operational by summer of 2004.

"A key finding of the Water Authority's Regional Water Facilities Master Plan was the need for additional regional water treatment capacity," said Bernie Rhinerson, Water Authority board chairman. "The development of a Water Authority-owned water treatment facility along with the building of a seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad will have a significant impact on our efforts to increase the amount of treated water available to all of San Diego. However, until these additional sources are available, we need to be prepared to deal with peak demand for treated water."

Currently, water treatment plants owned and operated by the Water Authority's member agencies and water wholesaler Metropolitan Water District of Southern California provide all of the region's drinking water treatment. The Robert A. Skinner Filtration Plant operated by the Metropolitan Water District is the prime source of drinking water for the San Diego region. The Water Authority's first treatment plant will help ensure there are adequate supplies of treated water to meet the growing demand.

The board also approved a peak-day management plan to address the need to reduce peak demands for treated water in the region during the hottest days of the year. The plan is designed to manage short-term treatment capacity needs and reduce treated water demand peaks over the next 36 months. The plan consists of three elements. First, Water Authority member agencies will be notified when the Metropolitan Water District's (MWD) treated water delivery reaches 95 percent of capacity.

The plan then calls for voluntary reallocation of treated water, which would include negotiation with agencies receiving treated water from MWD's Skinner treatment plant; requests for Water Authority member agencies to put local treatment plants at optimal output, and requests for member agencies take additional treated water from storage.

If treated water demand still exceeds capacity, the third phase of the plan, mandatory treated water reductions would be implemented. This phase includes the Water Authority reducing treated water deliveries to members by the same percentage as shortage of treated water available from MWD.

The San Diego County Water Authority is a public agency serving the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water from the Colorado River and Northern California. The Water Authority works through its 23 member agencies to provide a safe, reliable water supply to support our region's $126 billion economy and the quality of life of nearly 3 million residents.

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