Updating the Regional Water Facilities Master Plan

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The Water Authority’s Board of Directors on March 27, 2014, adopted the 2013 Regional Water Facilities Optimization and Master Plan Update, the agency’s roadmap for new infrastructure development through 2035. The document updates the agency’s 2003 Regional Water Facilities Master Plan. It will support future decisions on the need for and timing of new facilities that may be required to ensure the Water Authority fulfills its mission of delivering a safe and reliable water supply in a cost-effective manner.

Current projected spending on master plan projects is estimated at $380 million to $500 million. The main anticipated projects are efficiency improvements that will enable the Water Authority to better manage its existing water-delivery system and optimize capital projects the region has already built. The updated master plan defers $653 million in capital improvement projects through 2025 to control expenses and adapt to lower water demand due to conservation. Two large facilities that won’t be needed before 2030 are a new pipeline to bring water into the county and a new “crossover” pipeline to alleviate potential constraints in the delivery system.

Over the past 20 years, the Water Authority made substantial investments in new pipelines, treatment plants, water supply development and storage reservoirs that have significantly improved the San Diego region’s water supply reliability. Looking ahead, the 2013 master plan update focuses on optimizing these improvements while maintaining flexibility to adjust to a range of future scenarios. That approach considers the “new normal” of reduced water sales, a greater emphasis on local supply development and conservation, and the need to better manage energy use and seek opportunities to increase renewable energy production.

The master plan update process was a region-wide planning effort that incorporated projections for future water demands and water supplies from the 2010 Urban Water Management Plan.  Both that plan and the 2013 master plan update use a scenario planning approach to assess supply and demand. This approach evaluates potential risks to supply reliability, and it stress-tests the ability of the Water Authority’s existing aqueduct system and local drinking water treatment plants to meet future operating conditions. The 2013 master plan update has considered infrastructure alternatives that include development of new local supplies or increased imported supply reliance to close any projected gaps between future demands and supplies.

Preparation of the 2013 master plan update followed the same planning principles used to develop the Water Authority’s 2003 document. In addition to the 2013 master plan update document, a Supplemental Program Environmental Impact Report (SPEIR) and a Climate Action Plan (CAP) were also certified and adopted to address in a comprehensive manner potential environmental and cumulative impacts in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32). All three planning documents were released Nov. 22, 2013, for a public review and comment period that ended Jan. 16, 2014. 

2013 Regional Water Facilities Optimization and Master Plan Update Documents

April 29, 2013 Public Scoping Meeting Presentation

January 9, 2014 Public Hearing Presentation


Regional Water Facilities Master Plan Web Page

Presentations to Board of Directors on Regional Water Facilities Optimization and Master Plan Update:

March 27, 2014

October 24, 2013

September 12, 2013

July 25, 2013

July 11, 2013

June 27, 2013

May 16, 2013

April 25, 2013  -  1 of 2

April 25, 2013  - 2 of 2

March 14, 2013

February 28, 2013

January 24, 2013

January 10, 2013

March 22, 2012

February 9, 2012

December 9, 2010

Prior Regional Water Facilities Master Plan Documents: