Tag Archives: water

Vallecitos Water District Ends Restrictions On Outdoor Watering


Last night, the Vallecitos Water District’s Board of Directors voted to rescind the mandatory drought restrictions under its “Level 2 Drought Alert” and move to voluntary conservation measures under its “Level 1 Drought Watch,” thereby ending restrictions on outdoor watering. Vallecitos customers may now irrigate any day of the week with no limit on the number of watering days, and may irrigate their landscapes as long as necessary. However, the Board expressed their desire to sustain water conservation as a permanent way of life and adopted a new ordinance permanently prohibiting wasteful practices, such as:

  • Visible signs of runoff when watering landscapes
  • 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


The District’s action was taken in response to the State Water Resources Control Board recently terminating water use reduction mandates and allowing water agencies to set their own water use targets based upon their specific supply conditions. Recognizing persistent yet less severe drought conditions throughout California, the newly adopted emergency regulation, which is in effect through January 2017, mandates that urban water suppliers act to ensure at least a three year supply of water to their customers under drought conditions.

A thorough analysis determined that Vallecitos has sufficient water supplies for its customers, even if drought conditions continue for the next three years; therefore, the District won’t be subject to state-mandated water-use reductions through January 2017.  This is due largely to its customers who saved 25 percent since June 2015 and the fact that Vallecitos now receives a portion of its water directly from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which is a local, drought-resilient supply.

“Due to the exceptional conservation efforts by our customers and the foresight of the District to secure desalinated seawater, we are now able to give our customers greater flexibility when it comes to keeping trees, plants and vegetation alive,” said Vallecitos Board President, Mike Sannella. “We applaud our customers’ efforts and encourage them to continue to use water efficiently at all times.”

For more detailed information on the new permanent prohibitions, go to www.vwd.org/drought.


San Elijo Park Splash Pad will turn on for the Summer

Beginning Friday, June 17, the City of San Marcos will be turning on public splash pads to offer residents and visitors a place to enjoy water recreation during the hottest summer months.

Moving forward, splash pad hours will be from 10 am to 6 pm from Memorial Day weekend through September 30.

Located at Sunset Park, San Elijo Park, Buelow Park, Mulberry Park and Discovery Lake Park, splash pads are hand-activated water features within the playground that run for a limited time with little to no standing water to create a safe, water recreation destination.

“Thanks to continued water saving efforts this past year both in San Marcos and regionally, we are pleased to announce that one of our most popular summer attractions is returning,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.

In addition to splash pads, the City of San Marcos is home to two public pools – Woodland Park Aquatic Facility and Cerro De Las Posas Aquatic Facility – and boasts a comprehensive aquatic program featuring open recreation swim, family swim nights, swim assessments and ability-based swim lessons.

The city continues water conservation efforts with reduced irrigation schedules, converting conventional sprinkler spray heads with high efficiency sprinkler heads, installing drip irrigation, using native and/or drought tolerant plants in new or rehabilitated public space landscaping, retrofitting city buildings with low-flow water fixtures, and conducting landscape irrigation audits.

For more information about city water saving efforts, visit www.san-marcos.net/savingh2o.

To learn more about San Marcos aquatic facilities, splash pads, pool hours and aquatic events, visit www.san-marcos.net/aquatics.

San Elijo Pump Station Ribbon Cutting

San Elijo Pump Station

San Elijo Hills Pump Station

Ribbon-cutting ceremony marking completion of the San Elijo Pump Station that will provide Vallecitos Water District with treatment services from Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s (OMWD) David C. McCollom Water Treatment Plant via an existing interconnection. The pump will allow Vallecitos to pump water from the OMWD Elfin forest area dam and treatment facility to the Vallecitos Water District Stephanie Court tank in San Elijo Hill’s and provide water for San Elijo Hills and Western San Marcos and some of Carlsbad. This will mean that San Elijo Hills is not getting Desalinization water from the Poseidon plant in Carlsbad. Other areas in San Marcos are getting a percentage of it’s water from the new desalinization plant. This local efficiency will help all of North County San Diego.

Under the agreement signed between the two agencies in 2012, Vallecitos Water District  will purchase a minimum of 2,750 acre-feet per year of treatment services from Olivenhain Municipal Water District, roughly the amount of water required to supply 5,500 households.

This partnership is mutually beneficial for ratepayers of both agencies. Vallecitos Water District  will purchase treatment services from OMWD at a lower rate than is offered by regional water wholesalers, reducing the per-unit purchase cost of water. Meanwhile, Olivenhain Municipal Water District will sell surplus treatment services, offsetting water treatment costs, and improve efficiency by running its plant at full capacity.

The San Elijo Hills Pump Station won an Award of Merit for engineering excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies.


State indicates Vallecitos’ water conservation target will be reduced


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


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.

CSUSM will host the third forum of its free series, “Fresh Perspectives on California’s Water Future” with a session on “Economics of Water”

Economics of Water
California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) Extended Learning will host the third forum of its free series, “Fresh Perspectives on California’s Water Future” with a session on “Economics of Water.”


“Economics of Water” – November 18th, 2015, 6:30 – 8:30pm, CSUSM University Student Union 2310
Who pays and who bene

fits? This evening will delve into an anatomy of the financial aspects of water supply, competing market interests and pricing strategies.

Moderator: Dr. Timothy Quinn, Executive Director, ACWA Association of California Water Agencies Panelist: Paul Wenger, Executive Director, California Farm Bureau Federation
Panelist: Dr. David Tuthill, Former Executive Director, Idaho Department of Water Resources, President, Idaho Water Engineering
Panelist: Tom Scaglione, Assistant General Manager & Chief Financial Officer, Vallecitos Water District, CSUSM Faculty for Certificate in Water Resources Management & Leadership

This forum series is hosted and coordinated by the faculty and staff of the Certificate in Water Resources Management & Leadership. Created in conjunction with policy makers, experts and water industry leaders, the Certificate in Water Resources Management and Leadership is a unique program that focuses on the financial, legal, climatological, environmental, technical and cultural issues industry leaders face in today’s complex and changing environment.

For more information or to register: http://www.csusm.edu/el/water or 760-750-4004 or el.inquiry@csusm.edu.

The City of San Marcos’s brown front lawn to transform into water-wise landscaping


City’s brown front lawn to transform into water-wise landscaping

The extra water-saving mile, the City of San Marcos will transform the brown Civic Center front lawn along San Marcos Boulevard into a water-wise landscape.

Instead of intensive, high maintenance ornamental turf, residents will see a native mow free grass surrounded by an oval-shaped border of octopus agave, yellow blanket flowers and blue chalk sticks. Higher efficiency irrigation technology with drip emitters and high-efficiency spray nozzles will also be put in place.

“Knowing that we are facing an unprecedented drought, this project is helping the city be good stewards of all our water resources,” said Communications Officer Sarah Macdonald.

By transforming the landscaped area, the city expects to reduce water use by more than 50 percent while trimming down on landscape maintenance costs for fertilizers, weed control and labor.

The $400,000 project, paid for in part by funding from the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act, will reduce water use and minimize run-off into the streets while creating a sustainable space for City Hall visitors.

The proposed project will be reviewed for approval during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 6 pm. If the designs are approved, crews will begin work in November.

To learn more about the city’s water-saving efforts, visit www.san-marcos.net/savingh2o.

CSUSM will host a free forum “Fresh Perspectives on California’s Water Future”



Extended Learning at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is excited to announce a new free forum series, “Fresh Perspectives on California’s Water Future.” The series was developed in collaboration with local industry leaders and takes an in-depth look into topics that are rarely presented or discussed in open public forums. Policy makers, experts and water industry leaders will share their unique perspectives on three separate evenings, while actively engaging the audience and encouraging questions and participation.

All forums will be held in the CSUSM University Student Union from 6:30 – 8:30pm.

September 9th, 2015: The Psychology of Water – Until recently, primary barriers to California’s water future were mostly technical and financial. However, as traditional sources of water supply become more difficult to acquire, today’s water industry is facing new obstacles in terms of cultural attitudes and orientations. Deep seated predispositions about nature, waste water recycling and even color can offer stiff resistance to viable alternatives. A panel of regional experts will explore this topic, provide examples and discuss solutions while encouraging audience interaction.

October 14th, 2015: The Politics of Water – An exploration of the shifts and changes taking place in the state’s water power structures, players and coalitions.

November 18th, 2015: The Economics of Water – who pays and who benefits? This evening will delve into an anatomy of the financial aspects of water supply, competing market interests and pricing strategies.

Register for any of our free forums at www.csusm.edu/el/water. Call 760-750-4004 for more information.

Water Well being drilled on San Elijo Middle School Field

San Elijo Elementary also has a well on site that was drilled in the summer of 2014. The Wells are used for landscaping irrigation.

July HOA Updates from San Elijo Hills Community Association

San Elijo Hills Movie in The Park

Updates from San Elijo Hills Community Association (HOA)

Board Meeting July 21st –NEW LOCATION

The next San Elijo Hills Board of Directors meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 21, 2015- 6:00PM at the San Marcos Senior Center: 111 Richmar Avenue, San Marcos 92069 in the Community room. (760) 744-5535. All homeowners are welcome to attend. The meeting will be held at this particular location for the July meeting only. All future meetings will resume back at one of the local schools.

Clock Tower

A shout out to the San Elijo Hills Board of Directors for the new clock tower lights! The new LED lighting is projected to last years, which will increase efficiency while decreasing maintenance costs. Thank you, Board!

Spring Fling/Pirate Party Has Been Rescheduled – (July 25th)

Ahoy me mateys! Hoist up your mainsails! San Elijo Hills is calling all pirates for Saturday, July 25th at the upper field of the San Elijo Park (Hilltop) from 12:00PM–3:00PM. Activities will include:

Pirate Craft Station
Lawn Games
Treasure Hunt
Obstacle Course & bounce houses
Face Painting
Concessions including popcorn, snow cones, and cotton candy.
And more fun surprises!

The kids will have a blast! We hope to see you there! Please feel free to contact Liz McCardle at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com with any questions!

Movie Night August 7th

The San Elijo Hills Community Association is hosting a FREE showing of Annie (rated PG http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1823664/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg) as part 3 of our summer movie series!

Annie will be shown on Friday, August 7th at the upper sports field (Hilltop Field) of San Elijo Park. Pre-show activities (including bounce houses, a sticky wall, jousting, and obstacle course!) will begin at 6:00PM and the movie will start at sunset (around 8:00PM). Remember to bring your low-back beach chairs and blankets for lawn seating! A flashlight may come in handy too!

A few food trucks will be there, and will have a variety of food (including yummy pizza!), & refreshments for purchase. A portion of the food truck proceeds benefit the San Elijo Hills Foundation.

Annie is a Broadway classic that has delighted audiences for generations comes to the big screen with a new, contemporary vision in Columbia Pictures’ comedy, Annie. Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) – advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) – makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he’s her guardian angel, but Annie’s self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it’s the other way around.

For more information, feel free to contact Liz McCardle at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com or call (760) 798-9015

Community Reminders

Summer is the optimal time for painting your home! Now is the time to consider painting-whether it be that faded garage door, shutters, siding, or just the trim! If you are looking at changing the color, please submit the necessary plans and application for review and approval by the Architectural Committee.

Keep our yards looking their best! During the on-going drought and reduced watering times, owners must continue to maintain their yard areas by mowing, weeding, trimming, and pruning.

Did you know that there are many great alternatives to grass? Why not consider gardening with native plants. You can bring the beauty of California into your own landscaping while also receiving numerous benefits. There are flowers, grasses, shrubs, vines, and trees for any situation. If you are interested in modifying your current design, you must submit the necessary application and plans for review and approval by the Architectural Committee. Questions? Please contact Liz McCardle at 760-798-9015.

During the summer months when the kiddos are out and about, please remember to encourage them to stay out of the streets and to be considerate to the surrounding homes with respect to noise and play equipment.

San Elijo Hills Foundation Pace Car Campaign

The PACE Car Campaign was originally triggered by a long-time resident of San Elijo Hills. Her idea stemmed from the concept of PACE Cars and how they help set the pace during a race.

-What if every resident was driving the speed limit in SEH?
-How would that affect the pace of traffic through the community?
-Can we as residents help set the pace in SEH?

Let’s find out! By building on this PACE Car concept & getting residents to commit to being vigilant about the traffic limits around our community, we believe, together, we can create a culture of safety in SEH.

Anyone who lives in SEH is encouraged to TAKE THE PACE PLEDGE. In exchange for your pledge, the SEH Foundation will provide you with a special SEH PACE Car sticker for your car window. Not only will seeing this sticker remind you to drive the speed limit, it will also serve as a moving billboard that reminds others around you to consider doing the same.

To take the pledge, please visit the SEH Foundation Website: http://sanelijohillsfoundation.weebly.com/pace-car-campaign.html. You may also visit the San Elijo Hills Foundation Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SanElijoHillsFoundation

  • The San Elijo Hills Community Association supports the individual action by community members to address issues that affect us all, however, as a reminder, the streets within the community are public and under the purview of the City of San Marcos. The Association has no direct enforcement ability with regard to speeding, parking, or other traffic related concerns”

Water Restrictions Effective June 1st

On May 20, 2015, Vallecitos’ Board of Directors adopted emergency drought restrictions under Ordinance 195 that limits all outdoor irrigation, excluding certified agricultural or commercial growers, during the months of June through October to 2 unassigned days per week/8 minutes per station. If demands are not reduced by 24%, additional enforcement may be needed and the District may need to reduce watering to 1 assigned day per week.

Please remember to keep your yard weed free and maintained to ensure our community continues to look its best!

Committee Members Needed

Do you enjoy hiking, biking or strolling any of the 18 miles of trails in San Elijo Hills? Are you looking for a way to become more involved in the community? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions then you may be perfectly suited to serve on the Trails Committee! The Committee is dedicated to keeping our trails safe and beautiful. If you are interested, please contact Rebecca McDonald at mcdonald@waltersmanagement.com for more information.

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