June 27, 2017
Water Authority Adopts $1.58 Billion Budget for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019
The Water Authority's Board of Directors on June 22 adopted a $1.58 billion budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, representing a 2 percent increase from the current two-year budget due largely to increasing water supply and treatment costs. The Board also adopted rate increases for calendar year 2018 of 3.7 percent for both untreated and treated water; actual increases will vary among the Water Authority's 24 member agencies based on each agency's unique circumstances.

Expenses were held in check as the Water Authority continues its transition from building infrastructure under its Capital Improvement Program to maintaining facilities and managing its diversified water supply portfolio. More than 91 percent of the budget is for water purchase and treatment costs as well as building or financing infrastructure. While the costs of buying and treating water are projected to rise by $130.7 million, they are partially offset in the adopted budget by a $99.9 million reduction in Capital Improvement Program spending and stored water purchases. No purchases of stored water are necessary following the successful filling of the Water Authority's carryover supplies in the expanded San Vicente Reservoir last year.
Public Opinion Poll Shows High Level of Confidence in Region's Water Supply Reliability
In the wake of one of the most significant droughts in California's history, public confidence in the reliability of the San Diego region's water supply has grown to extraordinarily high levels, according to the Water Authority's most recent public opinion poll. Residents also continued to show strong support for the region's water supply diversification strategy, using water efficiently and the value of water compared to other utilities.

The Water Authority has performed periodic public opinion research for more than 17 years to determine local residents' knowledge and attitudes regarding water issues. The latest poll of 1,001 adults in San Diego County was conducted by Probe Research from May 3 to May 25, approximately a month after Gov. Jerry Brown ended the statewide drought emergency he declared in 2014. Water Authority staff presented poll results to the agency's Board of Directors last week.
Tips for a WaterSmart Summer
With summer under way, the Water Authority is reminding residents of simple steps for saving water during the hottest, driest months of the year. The region has a highly reliable water supply going into the peak water-use season, thanks to diversified water sources developed by the Water Authority and heavy precipitation last winter that ended drought conditions across most of the state. But weather experts predict above-average temperatures across the West during July, August and September, underscoring the importance of practicing efficient water use. Here are a few easy tips:
  1. Take a break. New plants need more water to get established, so wait until fall and winter for planting to take advantage of cooler temperatures and rain.
  2. Go to summer school. Get started planning your WaterSmart landscape by surfing WaterSmart Landscaping Videos On Demand from the comfort of your beach chair or sofa. Learn more at Landscapemakeover.WaterSmartSD.org
  3. Let your lawn grow. Set your mower to leave grass at least 3 inches high because taller blades reduce evaporation up to 80 percent and protect roots from heat.
  Click here for the full list of tips.
The Summer 2017 Class on Olivenhain Dam.
Fall Citizens Water Academy Class in North County

The Water Authority is accepting applications for a unique program that allows future and emerging civic leaders to learn more about efforts to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for the San Diego region. In fall 2017, the Water Authority will hold its first academy in North San Diego County.

Participants in the Fall 2017 class will get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Water Authority helps to protect the region's economy and quality of life through its plans, operations and programs. Participants will also tour world-class water facilities like the Claude "Bud" Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant.

The deadline to apply for the next academy is September 5. The class dates are:
  • Tuesday, October 10, 1-4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 18, 1-4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, October 27, 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
To apply or to nominate someone for the academy, go to www.sdcwa.org/citizens-water-academy.
Did you See?

KPBS quoted Water Authority Board Chair Mark Muir in a story about the agency's rate case litigation against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

"When we filed the first rate case lawsuit in 2010, we knew that this would not be a sprint," said Muir. "It's a marathon that we are running on behalf of -- and with the strong support of -- our region's ratepayers, business leaders and elected officials. While today's ruling secures several important victories for the Water Authority and its ratepayers, we are no less determined to see this case to a successful conclusion."

Click here to read the full story.