Vallecitos Board of Directors Declares Drought Over
Last night, the Vallecitos Water District’s Board of Directors voted to rescind the voluntary drought restrictions under its “Level 1 – Drought Watch.” Vallecitos customers may irrigate any day of the week with no limit on the number of watering days, and may irrigate their landscapes for as many minutes as needed. However, the Board continued to express their desire to sustain water conservation as a permanent way of life. Vallecitos’ ordinance permanently prohibits wasteful practices, such as:
Watering between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Watering within 48 hours of a measurable rain event
Hosing down hardscapes (patios, sidewalks, etc.)
Not using a shut-off nozzle when washing cars
Not fixing leaks within 48 hours of discovery
Restaurants only serving water on request
Vallecitos’ resolution was taken in response to the San Diego County Water Authority’s action on January 26, 2017, declaring the drought over in San Diego County. Neither the Water Authority nor Vallecitos are experiencing supply shortages due to drought. The San Diego region has invested approximately $3.5
billion over the past three decades to increase regional water supply reliability, including upgraded conveyance systems, additional water storage capacity and seawater desalination. Vallecitos has a direct connection to the desalination plant in Carlsbad and obtains more than a quarter of its annual supplies from this drought proof source.
Vallecitos met its mandatory savings target after the state imposed emergency regulations in 2015 to achieve the governor’s goal of an overall 25 percent cut in urban water use. In May 2016, the state updated its emergency regulation to a water supply “stress test” methodology that took actual levels of local supply reliability into account. Under that system, Vallecitos has sufficient supplies to avoid shortages even if it experiences three more dry years.
“Due to the record-setting winter precipitation in the Northern Sierra, coupled with heavy local rainfall and a significant snowpack in the upper Colorado River basin, we are able to rescind Drought Response Level 1 – Drought Watch,” said Vallecitos Board President, Craig Elitharp. “We applaud our customers’ efforts to conserve water and encourage them to continue to use water efficiently at all times.”
For more detailed information on the permanent prohibitions, go to www.vwd.org/drought.
About Vallecitos Water District: As an independent, special district, Vallecitos is dedicated to providing water, wastewater and reclamation services to approximately 97,000 people in a 45- square-mile area that includes San Marcos; the community of Lake San Marcos; portions of Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista; and other surrounding unincorporated areas. The public is invited to Board meetings, taking place at 5 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month at Vallecitos’ Administration Building – 201 Vallecitos de Oro, San Marcos. Board meetings are also televised on San Marcos TV. Visit www.san-marcos.net/smtv for a complete programming schedule.
Vallecitos Water District Eases Drought Restrictions
The State of California adjusted its conservation targets for the Vallecitos Water District (VWD) on March 9, 2016, reducing the District’s target from 24 percent to 16 percent. Based on this reduced target, the District will no longer enforce restrictions on the use of water to power wash structures, including mobile homes. The State Board certified potable water supplies from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant as drought-resilient, reducing the regional impacts of the state’s emergency water-use mandates.
“The District has been in a Level 2 Drought Alert condition since August of 2014,” said Board President Mike Sannella. “The efforts by our customers to conserve during the drought, combined with bringing desalination online, are making the difference and will help meet our water supply needs to support the highest quality of life and a strong local economy.”
Additionally, on Thursday, the San Diego County Water Authority’s (CWA) Board of Directors rescinded CWA Ordinance No. 2015-02 as well as the July 2014 notification of a Regional Drought Response Level 2, Drought Alert condition. The VWD Board of Directors will in turn review the District’s drought ordinances to see what modifications are appropriate.
In the meantime, customers will be able to:
Power wash structures
Deep water trees
Transition lawns to drought-tolerant landscapes
Preserve fire-safe buffers around homes, especially those at the top of slopes or near canyons.
State indicates Vallecitos’ water conservation target will be reduced to sixteen percent due to desalinated water connection
The State Water Resources Control Board (State) posted draft adjusted water conservation standards which show the Vallecitos Water District (Vallecitos) will now have a water conservation target of 16 percent. Previously, the State mandated a 24 percent reduction in potable water use for Vallecitos from 2013 demands. The eight percent reduction is based on the fact that Vallecitos now receives up to 4,083 acre feet of desalinated water annually from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Desalination Plant. Vallecitos is currently the only retail water provider that has a direct connection to the Desalination Plant.
Desalinated water is now a major component of Vallecitos’ water portfolio, further minimizing the District’s reliance on imported water and providing customers an increased level of reliability despite drought and other regulatory issues. It now makes up 27 percent of the District’s annual supply and is enough water to meet the needs of more than 8,100 families for one year.
Vallecitos Water District Delivers Desalinated Water
The Vallecitos Water District is now receiving high-quality desalinated water directly from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Desalination Plant in Carlsbad, California. The direct connection pipe, located at the corner of Pawnee and Cherokee Streets in San Marcos, will deliver as much as 4,083 acre feet of desalinated water annually to Vallecitos’ distribution system. This equates to approximately 27 percent of the District’s annual supply and is enough water to meet the needs of more than 8,100 families for one year.
Desalinated water is now a major component of Vallecitos’ water portfolio, further minimizing the District’s reliance on imported water and providing customers an increased level of reliability despite drought and other regulatory issues. Vallecitos is currently one of two water providers that have a direct connection to the Desalination Plant.
“It’s exciting to be a major participant in this effort,” said Vallecitos Board Vice President Craig Elitharp. “The Carlsbad Desalination Plant is the largest, most technologically advanced and energy-efficient seawater desalination plant in the nation.”
The plant is located near the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad. The facility produces 50 million gallons of water per day from Carlsbad’s Aqua Hedionda Lagoon using a state-of-the-art, reverse osmosis system. To learn more about the Carlsbad Desalination Plant and its operation, visit their website at www.carlsbaddesal.com. Tours of the desalination plant will be available starting in February. To make reservations, sign up at: http://carlsbaddesal.com/visit.
VALLECITOS TO HOST DESALINATION WORKSHOPS IN CONJUNCTION WITH “IMAGINE A DAY WITHOUT WATER”
San Marcos, CA – The Vallecitos Water District is joining the Value of Water Coalition to participate in the national campaign, “Imagine A Day Without Water.” This national campaign will educate the public about the need for water infrastructure investments. To raise awareness on the region’s own infrastructure project, the District will host two workshops about how desalinated water from Poseidon Water’s Carlsbad Desalination Plant will be incorporated into the Vallecitos water distribution system.
The workshops will be held on October 6 and November 2, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. in the District’s Boardroom, located at 201 Vallecitos De Oro in San Marcos. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
The workshops will include speakers from Poseidon Water and the District’s Engineering and Operations Departments. Presenters will provide information on the Carlsbad Desalination Plant’s infrastructure and will address water quality, water taste and water aroma changes. Following the presentations, time will be allotted for attendees to comment and ask questions.
The Desalination Plant is scheduled to come online in November 2015, providing Vallecitos customers with over 4,000 acre feet (1 acre foot equals 325,851 gallons) of water annually. Vallecitos will see up to 27 percent of its long-term annual supplies drawn from local sources, easing reliance on imported supplies and providing the District with an increased level of sustainability.
Pipeline Upgrade Prepares for Seawater Desalination
The San Diego County Water Authority is relining an existing large drinking water pipeline in San Marcos in preparation for a new, drought-proof water supply from the coast: seawater desalination. Most of the construction for the Pipeline 3 Desalination Relining Project will take place underground inside the pipeline, but some work above ground will impact local City streets. Pipeline relining will not interrupt water service to nearby homes or businesses.
Construction will be ongoing through May 2015. Crews will enter the pipe by excavating access sites or “portals” along the pipeline in the Water Authority’s easement. At the portals, workers will remove approximately 40 feet of existing pipe to gain access to the interior of the pipe and to install relining materials.
Five portals are within the City boundary (click to view map). Portal 15 is located at the intersection of Descanso Avenue and Pawnee Street immediately east of Rancho Santa Fe Road and south of Highway 78. The Descanso-Pawnee intersection has been closed for construction. All businesses in the area remain accessible via adjacent streets.
Portals 11-14 are within the Water Authority’s easement in off-City street sites north of Highway 78. These portals will not require street closures. Ten additional portals north of City boundary extend to the Water Authority’s Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant.
Sound walls will be temporarily placed around portals where they are needed to reduce noise impacts to residents and businesses, and to comply with environmental regulations. Nearby residents and businesses will see construction traffic approaching and departing the portal sites through May 2015. Upon completion, the work areas will be restored to their previous condition.
Pipeline 3 is being relined to accommodate pressurized flows from the Carlsbad Desalination Project, which is now in construction. The upgraded Pipeline 3 will convey desalinated seawater northward to the Water Authority’s regional facilities in Twin Oaks Valley. From there, this new supply will blend with imported water to enhance the reliability of our region’s water supply. A new east-west pipeline is under construction to connect the desalination plant in Carlsbad to Pipeline 3 in San Marcos.
For more information about the Pipeline 3 Desalination Relining project, please contact the Water Authority’s project information line at 877 682-9283, ext 7005 or email CIPinfo@sdcwa.org. Water Authority staff will respond within one business day.