Category Archives: Vallecitos Water District

Vallecitos Water District Ends Restrictions On Outdoor Watering

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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 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.

 

Vallecitos Water District Eases Drought Restrictions

Vellecitos Water District Office

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.

Registration is now open for CSUSM’s course in Water Management Fundamentals

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Registration is now open for CSUSM’s course in Water Management Fundamentals

San Marcos, CA – Registration is now open for the “Survey of Water Management Fundamentals and Practice in California” course offered through Extended Learning at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). While open to all interested in the water industry, this course is also the required core class for the Water Management and Leadership Certificate program that will continue through the summer of 2017.

Developed in collaboration with local industry leaders including the Vallecitos Water District, this core class incorporates the study of regional water usage and sources, disposal and recycling, water infrastructure, impact of water shortage as well as career opportunities in water management. Participants will meet for eight three-hour evening lectures by the leading water resources expert, Ken Weinberg, and other local water experts, and two Saturday tours of local state-of-the-art water facilities.

The initial survey course will be offered at the San Marcos campus on Tuesday evenings beginning March 29 from 6:00-8:50 pm. To register or to learn more about the Water Management Program or the Survey Course, please contact Alan Styles at astyles@csusm.edu or visit www.csusm.edu/el/water.

State indicates Vallecitos’ water conservation target will be reduced

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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’ recently constructed San Elijo Hills Pump Station won an Award of Merit

Vallecitos' recently constructed San Elijo Hills Pump Station won an Award of Merit from the American Council of…

Posted by Vallecitos Water District on Thursday, February 4, 2016

Water-wise landscape makeover takes shape at San Marcos Civic Center

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Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 27, crews will continue work to plant water-wise landscaping surrounding the city’s Civic Center located along San Marcos Boulevard to set the water-saving example.

While newly planted varieties may look like grass from the past, the new “Native Move Free Sod” to be planted requires 50 percent less water than a traditional lawn and only needs mowing eight times per year.

“Knowing that California still faces unprecedented drought conditions, this project is helping the city be good stewards of all our water resources,” said Public Works Director Mike Edwards.

Landscape designs approved by the San Marcos City Council call for a large area of native mow free grass surrounded by an oval-shaped border of meadow grasses, a variety of succulents and yellow blanket flowers instead of intensive, high maintenance ornamental turf. Decomposed granite will border the meadow areas.

Irrigated with well water, higher efficiency irrigation technology with drip emitters and high-efficiency spray nozzles will also be put in place.

By transforming the landscaped area, the city not only expects to reduce water use by more than 50 percent but will also trim 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.

For more information, contact Communications Officer Sarah Macdonald at The City of San Marcos.

Vallecitos Water District Delivers Desalinated Water

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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 Water District Board moves forward with annual reorganization, naming Mike Sannella Board President for 2016

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Vallecitos Water District Board moves forward with annual reorganization, naming Mike Sannella Board President for 2016

San Marcos, CA – At a regular meeting held on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, the Vallecitos Water District (Vallecitos) Board of Directors voted to move forward with their annual reorganization. Mike Sannella was elected unanimously to serve as president and Craig Elitharp to serve as vice president for 2016.

President Mike Sannella, Division 4 representative, was first elected to the District’s Board of Directors in 2014. President Sannella’s involvement in the community includes having served as a City Planning Commissioner, Vice President of the San Marcos Economic Development Corporation, and Vice President of San Diego County Crime Stoppers. He currently works in the Defense and Aerospace industry and has over 17 years of business and security management experience. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and is a graduate of the Leadership North County program also through CSUSM. Sannella resides in San Marcos with his wife Amy and their daughter.

Vice President Craig Elitharp, Division 3 representative, was also elected to the Board in 2014. He retired from the Rancho California Water District in June 2014 with over 24 years of experience managing water and wastewater operations. For the past 10 years, he has served on the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Groundwater, Energy, and Water Quality Committees. Currently, Elitharp works part-time at Kennedy/Jenks Consultants as a senior engineer on various water-related projects and issues for Southern California clients. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry at Syracuse University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He is also a registered civil engineer in the State of California and holds California Department of Public Health certifications as a Grade 5 Water Distribution Operator and Grade 3 Water Treatment Operator. Elitharp and his wife Diana have three children and live in the Walnut Hills area.

Sannella and Elitharp are joined by Directors Betty Evans, Division 1; Jim Hernandez, Division 2; and Hal Martin, Division 5, to form Vallecitos’ five-member Board. The Board meets regularly the first and third Wednesday of the month. Open to the public, the Board meetings start at 4:00 p.m. in Vallecitos’ Administration Building, 201 Vallecitos de Oro, in San Marcos. To increase transparency to ratepayers, Vallecitos airs its public meetings on San Marcos TV. Please visit www.san-marcos.net/smtv for a complete programming schedule.

For complete biographies, go to www.vwd.org/Board.

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

CSUSM
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.

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