Category Archives: NEWS

Creating More Sustainable State Water-Use Regulations

By Mark Muir, Vice Chair, San Diego County Water Authority

San Diego County and the rest of California have been under mandatory water-use reduction targets set by state regulators since June, even though our region has developed enough local supplies that we have virtually all of the water we need to meet normal demand.
The fundamental problem is that the state’s current emergency regulations focus only on water conservation and eliminate any benefit from investments and innovations in water supply reliability. Continue reading

Increase water conservation as supply cutbacks loom

By Mark Muir, Vice Chair, San Diego County Water Authority

The April 1 snow survey in the Sierra Nevada showed just 5 percent of the average snowpack – a record low since measurements began in 1950. It was an ominous sign: Four years into drought, California will get virtually no runoff this summer to augment stored water reserves. On the same day, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a sweeping executive order designed to reduce water use statewide. Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE

Financial pressures shouldn’t be the main factor that motivates organizational partnerships or paradigm shifts …

Subject: Assessment of Opportunities to Share or Consolidate Wastewater Management Services

Chairs Ritter and Barth:

Over the past six months, I have enjoyed a unique opportunity to sit on both the Encina and San Elijo Boards as a representative of the City of Encinitas. The performance of these organizations reflects the best ideals of cooperative regional government. Both operate their regional wastewater treatment plants exceptionally well as evidenced by the fact that each is the reigning California Water Environment Association “Plant of the Year” in its respective size category. Continue reading

It’s all about Prioritizes (budget )

By Mark Muir, Encinitas Council member

The Encinitas City Council has begun one of our most important annual tasks, drafting the city’s annual budget.
The Mayor and I both voted against increasing taxes because we believe that, as with your budget at home, our city must live within its means and exercise fiscal restraints. Just like at home, there are always more wants than dollars available.
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Seawater Desalination Project In the Homestretch

By Mark Muir, Vice Chair, San Diego County Water Authority

After nearly three years of work, construction at the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad is winding down as the final testing phase ramps up. Following completion of performance tests, the plant will produce enough drought-proof water to serve approximately 400,000 people annually.
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Water Authority Wins $188.3 Million Plus Interest in Rate Case Victory

By Mark Muir, Vice Chair, San Diego County Water Authority

 
On July 15, our region won a huge legal victory when a Superior Court judge issued a tentative ruling that requires the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to pay the San Diego County Water Authority $188.3 million plus interest for illegal rates MWD charged from 2011 to 2014.
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Where San Diego County Gets its Water

Where San Diego County Gets its Water

By Mark Muir, Vice Chair, San Diego County Water Authority

It probably seems simple: Turn on the tap and out comes water.

But water agencies across the state and region work hard every day to keep the water flowing through a complex system that involves hundreds of miles of large-diameter pipelines, canals and tunnels, plus treatment plants and thousands of miles of pipes that deliver water to taps serving 3.1 million people in San Diego County.
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Water Rate Proposal Accounts for State Mandates, Seawater Desalination

Water Rate Proposal Accounts for State Mandates, Seawater Desalination

By Mark Muir, Vice Chair, San Diego County Water Authority

 

One of the most difficult balancing acts in water utility management is keeping rates as low as possible when water sales shrink. All water agencies have fixed costs – infrastructure, debt obligations and the like – that remain no matter how much water is sold. Continue reading

The Careful Balance between Development and Drought

The Careful Balance between Development and Drought

By Mark Muir, Vice Chair, San Diego County Water Authority

One of the most common questions people ask me these days is, “Why do we continue to provide water meters for new development when we’re in a drought?” Essentially, they want to know why we allow more homes and businesses in the region by providing water for them when the resource is already strained. It’s an important question with a complex answer. Continue reading

San Diego Region Rises to Water Challenges with Planning, Cooperation

San Diego Region Rises to Water Challenges with Planning, Cooperation

By Mark Muir, Vice Chair, San Diego County Water Authority

 
As an extraordinarily hot and dry February gives way to what we hope will be a much wetter March, it’s worthwhile to take a few steps back and consider how well-prepared our region is to thrive even in drought. Continue reading

El Niño Stays Strong at Mid-Winter

El Niño Stays Strong at Mid-Winter

By Mark Muir, Vice Chair, San Diego County Water Authority & Encinitas Councilman
It’s still too soon to say for sure what kind of water supply boost we’ll get from El Niño this winter, but so far El Niño conditions are delivering above-average rainfall in San Diego County – and that is a welcome relief from the past four years.

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Water Rate Proposal Accounts for State Mandates, Seawater Desalination

Water Rate Proposal Accounts for State Mandates, Seawater Desalination
By Mark Muir, Vice Chair, San Diego County Water Authority
 
One of the most difficult balancing acts in water utility management is keeping rates as low as possible when water sales shrink. All water agencies have fixed costs – infrastructure, debt obligations and the like – that remain no matter how much water is sold.
As communities embrace water conservation over time, water utilities can gradually accommodate reduced demands through cost-saving measures such as debt restructuring and staff reductions. During times of drought and immediate water-use cutbacks, however, it’s very challenging to minimize rate increases.

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