Helix Awarded District Transparency Certificate of Excellence

Helix Water District received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence from the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance.

“This award is a testament to Helix Water District’s commitment to open government,” said Carlos Lugo, General Manager. “The entire district staff is to be commended for their contributions that empower the public with information and facilitate engagement and oversight.”

In order to receive the award, a special district must demonstrate the completion of eight essential governance transparency requirements, including conducting ethics training for all board members, properly conducting open and public meetings, and filing financial transactions and compensation reports to the State Controller in a timely manner.

Helix Water District also fulfilled fifteen website requirements, including providing readily available information to the public, such as board agendas, past minutes, current district budget, and the most recent financial audit.

Finally, the district must demonstrate outreach to its constituents that engages the public in its governance, through a regular district newsletter and completion of a salary comparison for district staff positions.

Helix Water District is a special district, a not-for-profit, local government agency, formed to provide water for the cities of La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove, the community of Spring Valley and areas within the City of Santee, Lakeside and San Diego County.  The district serves 270,375 people through over 56,000 metered accounts.

Special districts are independent public agencies that deliver core local services to communities, such as water, fire protection, parks and recreation, healthcare, sanitation, mosquito abatement, ports, libraries, public cemeteries and more.  Districts are established by voters and their funding is approved by voters in order to meet specific needs through focused service.  They can be specially molded to serve large regions or small neighborhoods depending on the need.

SDLF is an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote good governance and best practices among California’s special districts through certification, accreditation and other recognition programs.

Media Contact
Carlos Lugo, General Manager

November 21 – Free Composting Workshop in Spring Valley

November 21 – Free Composting Workshop in Spring Valley

Learn how you can improve the quality of your soil, reduce waste and air pollution, while saving energy, money, and water. Learn how to compost! Don’t miss this FREE 2-hour workshop in Spring Valley!

November 21, 2015
Spring Valley Youth and Family Coalition
3845 Spring Drive
Spring Valley, CA 91977

Register TODAY at http://bit.ly/1SX2Hwk

Final Judgment in Rate Case Secures Landmark Water Authority Victories

MWD owes Water Authority $235 million and rights to more MWD water supply

A final judgment entered in San Francisco Superior Court late Wednesday affirms victories by the San Diego County Water Authority in both phases of two landmark lawsuits challenging rates set by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The judgment also orders MWD to recalculate the Water Authority’s statutory right to MWD water supply – a right MWD had illegally under-calculated for more than a decade.

The final judgment by Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow combines rulings he issued in 2014 and 2015. Key elements of the judgment are: the invalidation of MWD’s unlawful transportation rates for 2011-2014; an order directing MWD to pay the Water Authority $188.3 million in contract damages; and a finding that MWD has under-calculated the Water Authority’s right to MWD water by tens of thousands of acre-feet of water per year.

In addition, the judge said MWD owes the Water Authority $46.6 million in prejudgment interest, for a total judgment of nearly $235 million. That amount will accrue simple post-judgment interest of 7 percent annually, meaning the total amount due to the Water Authority will grow by $45,000 per day – or $16.4 million per year – until MWD pays what it owes to the Water Authority.

Read the San Diego County Water Authority’s press release
SDCWA Release-Final Judgement in MWD Rates Case

Trout Opener at Lake Jennings – Saturday, November 21st

Helix Water District’s Lake Jennings has been stocked with 2,500 pounds of Rainbow Trout for opening day — the Trout Opener — on Saturday, November 21st, from 6:00am to 5:00pm in Lakeside.

Last year, SDfish.com ranked Lake Jennings the #2 trout fishing lake in San Diego County and said of the lake’s seclusion and scenery that “Lake Jennings allows you to slip into the euphoria of a backcountry feeling without putting a big dent on the fuel in your vehicle.”

Why is the fishing so good? Water quality: Lake Jennings is where Helix stores imported water from the Colorado River and the Feather River, the source of water for California’s State Water Project, before it is treated at the district’s R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant. How Helix staff manage the fishery also plays a role. The lake is stocked with Lightning Trout, known for their fight on the line, and 3-10 pound Trophy Trout.

Two more reasons to fish the Trout Opener are tagged trout and the Kid’s Pond stocked with 400 pounds of trout for anglers under 12 years old, with fishing poles and tackle provided. Catch a tagged trout and win a free weekend of camping, a free boat rental or a gift certificate to Lakeside Bait and Tackle.

Lake Jennings offers rental boats, 16 foot skiffs with a Yamaha outboard motor, on a first come, first served basis, a ramp for private boats, and a campground. Non-hookup sites for tent camping Friday and/or Saturday night are still available.

Driving Directions
– Take 8 freeway east
– Take Lake Jennings Park Road exit
– Turn left on to Lake Jennings Park Road
– Turn right on to Harritt Road and follow it to the parking lot

More Information
619-443-2510 (lake information)
619-390-1623 (campground)



San Diego Union Tribune — Water-rate hikes: No grandstanding, please

The San Diego Union Tribune’s editorial board is endorsing the City of San Diego’s proposed, four year water rate increase. The editorial cites the expense of developing new water resources, like the Carlsbad Desalination Plant and the city’s plan to purify wastewater to drinking water standards, and states, “We hope the City Council figures out that there are no easy, cheap solutions when it comes to securing reliable water supplies in 21st century California.”

San Diego Union Tribune Editorial

City of San Diego Fact Sheet on Proposed Water Rate Increase

Governor Extends Water Use Restrictions

Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-36-15 on November 13th extending water use restrictions through October 31, 2016 if drought conditions persist through January.

“We are very encouraged to see that the Order recognizes the need for potential modifications to the State Water Resources Control Board’s existing restrictions due to hydrology and lessons learned,” said Sandra Kerl, Deputy General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, in an email to Helix Water District and other Water Authority member agencies.

Kerl told member agencies that the Governor’s Order appears to acknowledge the efforts of the State Board technical working group, which the San Diego County Water Authority participates on to represent the interests of the region’s ratepayers.

Click on the link below to read the Governor’s Order.

Executive Order 11 13 15_B-36-15

Today is the Day to Say Thank You to Veterans

This is a military town and it’s likely you know a veteran – a family member, friend, neighbor or coworker. Each year, approximately 15,000 personnel from the Navy and Marines conclude their military careers in San Diego.

Want to say “thank you”? Veterans Day – today – is a good day to do it.  Here are two good places to start: 14 Ways to Show Your Thanks to Our Military on Veterans Day are recommendations from a member of a military family, and Charitynavigator.org reviews and rates non-profit organizations assisting veterans.

All of us at Helix Water District would like to thank U.S. military veterans for their service and their sacrifices. We also want to offer to our customers who are military veterans a water conservation kit that includes a water efficient showerhead, shower timer and shower bucket for collecting and reusing water. Come by our Administration Building at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa over the next week to get yours.