Water Authority Developing 2020 Urban Water Management Plan

January 23, 2020

Process ramps up for major long-term water supply planning document

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday authorized work on the 2020 Urban Water Management Plan. The Board approved a contract with the firm Woodard & Curran to provide support services for preparation of the plan, which documents the region’s approach to ensuring a safe and reliable water supply.

Urban water suppliers in California are required to adopt and submit an Urban Water Management Plan every five years. It is a foundational planning tool for reporting a water supplier’s forecast of water demands and a detailed evaluation of the supplies available to meet those demands over a minimum 20-year planning horizon under normal and multi-dry year conditions. The Water Authority’s 2020 UWMP must be submitted to the California Department of Water Resources by July 1, 2021.

“The first step in developing the Urban Water Management Plan is to prepare a long-range baseline water demand forecast in coordination with our 24 member agencies,” said Kelley Gage, director of water resources for the Water Authority. “This planning process is a critical part of meeting the long-range water supply needs of the San Diego region for both normal and dry year conditions.”

The plan also documents supply availability to comply with state laws requiring water suppliers to provide adequate documentation on water supplies to reliably meet projected water demand.

The Water Authority’s 2020 plan will have six main elements:

  • Baseline demand forecast – The Water Authority will project long-range water demands using the regional growth forecast by the San Diego Association of Governments.
  • Water-use efficiency savings – Water savings based on state mandates, conservation trends and other factors are used to adjust and develop the long-range water demand projection for the region.
  • Water supplies – Existing and future water supplies available to member agencies, the Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will be identified.
  • Supply reliability assessment – The Water Authority and member agency projected supplies are assessed and compared with projected water demands to identify the needed water resources mix.
  • Scenario planning – This process assesses the reliability of the region’s future water resources mix and potential risks to that mix. It also identifies strategies to manage uncertainties.
  • Shortage contingency analysis – The Water Authority develops plans for meeting future water supply shortages.

The Water Authority formed a workgroup in 2018 made up of staff from the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies to ensure the 2020 plan aligns with projections by local agencies and MWD. On Thursday, the Board was presented with a timeline for completing the 2020 Urban Water Management Plan. The draft plan is anticipated to be distributed for public review in early 2021.

For a video of how the Urban Water Management Plan works, go to: https://www.sdcwa.org/urban-water-management-plan-1

  • 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