January 8, 2018
San Diego Region Has Sufficient Water Supplies Despite Below-Average Snowpack

The California Department of Water Resources conducted its first manual snow survey of the year on Jan. 3 east of Sacramento in the Sierra Nevada. Measurements at Phillips Station revealed a snow water equivalent of 0.4 inches, far below the average 11.3 inches measured for this time of year.

"The survey is a disappointing start of the year, but it's far too early to draw conclusions about what kind of wet season we'll have this year," said Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program. "There's plenty of time left in the traditional wet season to reverse the dry trend we've been experiencing."

In San Diego County, the combination of strong regional water-use efficiency and highly reliable supplies means the region has enough water to meet demands in 2018 regardless of the weather. However, the snow survey is a good reminder that it's important to use water efficiently all the time. 

First Winter Storm to Bring Rain, Snow to San Diego County

The first significant winter storm of the season in Southern California is expected to arrive Monday night with light showers and increasing winds, followed by heavier rain, strong winds and snow at higher elevations on Tuesday.

"The heaviest rain will come during Tuesday's morning commute," Phil Gonslaves, a forecaster at the National Weather Service, told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

With a storm on the way, residents should turn off their irrigation systems and leave them off for up to two weeks following heavy rainfall.  

Boost Your Water IQ at the Citizens Water Academy

The Water Authority is accepting applications for its award-winning Citizens Water Academy, which provides emerging leaders with an inside look at ongoing efforts to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for the San Diego region.

Academy participants learn how the Water Authority helps protect the region's economy and quality of life through its water supply diversification strategy. The academy also covers facilities operations and maintenance, long-term planning, and water-use efficiency. Participants interact with Water Authority executives and tour world-class water facilities.

The deadline to apply for the next Citizens Water Academy is Monday, Feb. 12. The spring sessions are: 
  • Session 1: Thursday, March 1, from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Session 2: Wednesday, March 7, from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Session 3: Saturday, March 17, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Learn How to Create a 
WaterSmart Landscape

New year, new yard? Attend an upcoming Landscape Design for Homeowners Workshop and learn how to convert high-water-use turf to a beautiful, water-efficient landscape.

This free, three-hour workshop teaches homeowners the basics of how to do landscape makeovers. Topics include soil, design, turf removal, plant selection, planning, irrigation, rainwater catchment and implementation. Registration is required. 

Upcoming workshops:
  • Saturday, Jan. 20; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in El Cajon
  • Saturday, Jan. 27; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Eastlake
  • Saturday, Feb. 24; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Chula Vista
  • Tuesday, March 13; 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Encinitas
Workshop Promotes Environmentally Friendly Gardens   

The Solana Center for Environmental Innovation is hosting a free gardening workshop on Thursday, Jan. 11, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Alpine County Library (1752 Alpine Blvd).

Using trial-tested advice and interactive demonstrations, an expert educator will teach participants how to create less-thirsty and more environmentally friendly landscapes.

This workshop will cover:
  • Selecting climate appropriate plants
  • Using mulch and compost to conserve water
  • Managing irrigation efficiently
  • Harvesting rainwater

Did You See?

On Jan. 3, News 8 produced a compelling evening news segment about the Water Authority's major pipeline relining project in La Mesa.

"We're relining just over four miles of our pipeline to continue to provide a reliable water source to the San Diego region," said Neena Kuzmich, principal engineer at the Water Authority.

Click here to watch the video.