San Vicente Facilities

The San Vicente Facilities are part of the $1.5 billion Emergency & Carryover Storage Project, a system of reservoirs, interconnected pipelines and pumping stations designed to make water available to the region in the event of an interruption in imported water deliveries.

To mitigate construction impacts from the Emergency & Carryover Storage Project, the Water Authority funded the acquisition of nearly 600 acres of upland habitat areas and created or enhanced nearly 40 acres of wetland habitat in San Diego County.

Infrastructure System

Located in Lakeside, near the Cuyamaca Mountains, the San Vicente Reservoir is owned and operated by the City of San Diego. The connected infrastructure, including a dam, pipeline, pumping facilities and a potential future energy storage facility, represent a partnership between the Water Authority and the City of San Diego to ensure regional water reliability.

Dam Raise

Raising the height of San Vicente Dam was one of the last major components of the Emergency & Carryover Storage Project. The dam raise also created the greatest single increase of water storage capacity in San Diego County history.

In 1943, the City of San Diego constructed the 220-foot-tall San Vicente Dam to store up to 90,000 acre-feet of water. The San Vicente Dam Raise project increased the height of the dam by 117 feet. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest dam raise in the United States and the tallest of its type in the world. The raised dam will store up to an additional 157,000 acre-feet of water, more than doubling the capacity of the original reservoir.

The new marina features an improved access road, an expanded boat ramp with six lanes, and a parking lot accommodating more than 300 vehicles. Additional shade trees and picnic areas at the marina provide more options for recreational visitors to the reservoir.

For information about recreational opportunities, go to the City of San Diego Lakes and Recreation website.


The 11-mile San Vicente Pipeline is a large-diameter pipeline connecting San Vicente Reservoir in Lakeside to the Water Authority’s Second Aqueduct west of Interstate 15. The pipeline was completed in 2010 and was built in a tunnel at a depth ranging from 50 to 550 feet underground. During emergencies, the San Vicente Pipeline will operate with other Water Authority facilities to deliver water from San Vicente Reservoir to water agencies in the central and southern areas of the county.

Water in the pipeline will be moved with assistance from the San Vicente Pump Station, located near the San Vicente Portal. In an emergency, the pump station is able to move approximately 200 million gallons of water each day from San Vicente Reservoir.

Pumping Station

The pumping facilities include a pump station, surge control facility and connecting pipelines. If the county is ever cut off from imported water supplies, these facilities will move up to approximately 200 million gallons of water per day from San Vicente Reservoir through the 11-mile-long San Vicente Pipeline to the Water Authority’s water delivery system. This amount of water can serve nearly half of the San Diego region’s average, daily water use.

Want to learn more, dig deeper?

download this documentSan Vicente Reservoir, Dam And Pipeline Fact Sheet