Photo: Reverse osmosis cannisters at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.

Helix Water District just released its draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan for public comment and review. This document supports the district’s long-term planning efforts to ensure that it has enough water supplies to meet existing and future water needs.

The release is timely as California and the Southwest are experiencing a long stretch of hot and dry conditions. While other areas are facing significant water cutbacks, thanks to decades of planning, the San Diego region has sufficient supplies for dry years like this one.

Over the last 30 years, Helix has worked with the San Diego County Water Authority and neighboring water agencies to prepare for water shortages, including droughts. Thanks to investments in water supply reliability, Helix and the rest of San Diego County have sufficient water supplies to meet demand, even through multiple dry years.

“We are prepared and in a good position,” said Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo. “Over the last few decades, our customers paid for investments in diversified water supplies to protect us during dry periods and emergencies. Our customers have also become more efficient in how they use water.  Those efforts have paid off as we anticipate having enough water for our customers, even after five dry years.”

Table shows total water supply exceeds water demand through up to five consecutive years of dry conditions

Table: Helix Water District’s 2020 draft Urban Water Management Plan projects that the district’s supplies will exceed demands, even through five consecutive dry years.

Graph shows that the combined regional water supply provided by local water agencies, the San Diego County Water Authority and MWD exceeds demand through 2045.

Graph: Helix Water District’s 2020 draft Urban Water Management Plan projects that the district will continue to have access to more water supplies than needed to meet demands.

Helix Water District’s draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan was a collaborative process over a year in the making. The approximately 900-page document evaluates land use, water supplies, population forecasts and water conservation trends to evaluate if the district will have enough water over a 25-year planning timeframe. The draft 2020 Urban Water Management Plan includes risk and resiliency assessments of the district’s supplies and infrastructure against threats such as earthquakes, drought and climate change. As part of its planning process, the district also updated its water shortage contingency plan, which outlines specific actions the district can take to navigate varying stages of water shortage conditions.

California water utilities are required to prepare and adopt an Urban Water Management Plan every five years. The draft Urban Water Management Plan is available for public comment and review and the district will hold a public hearing via Zoom on June 2.

Read our 2020 Urban Water Management Plan

View our 2020 Urban Water Management Plan Appendices


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