Photo: Reverse osmosis cannisters at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.
Helix Water District Board of Directors just adopted its 2020 Urban Water Management Plan following a public hearing. The 2020 Urban Water Management Plan supports the district’s long-term planning efforts to ensure that it has enough water supplies to meet existing and future water needs.
The timing of the plan’s submission comes as Governor Newsom has declared droughts in 41 California counties, and other regions are experiencing water cutbacks. Despite reduced local rainfall and runoff, decades of planning means the San Diego region has sufficient supplies for dry years like this one.
Over the last 30 years, Helix has worked with its wholesaler 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.
“The district’s Urban Water Management Plan shows why and how we have sufficient water supplies through multiple dry years,” said General Manager Carlos V. Lugo. “It highlights our region’s investments in long–term, reliable supplies including conserved Colorado River sources, our locally controlled desalination plant and future water reuse projects. It also includes our water conservation programs and customer efforts that reduce daily water demands and keep our communities using water efficiently.”
Table: Helix Water District’s 2020 Urban Water Management Plan projects that the district’s supplies will exceed demands, even through five consecutive dry years.
Graph: Helix Water District’s 2020 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 2020 Urban Water Management Plan was a collaborative process that took over a year to complete. The final document is approximately 900 pages and evaluates land use, water supplies, population forecasts and water conservation trends to determine if the district will have enough water over a 25-year planning timeframe. The 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 and submit its updated plan to the California Department of Water Resources. The Urban Water Management Plan aims to prevent water supply disruptions, encourage long-term planning and promote water conservation. This plan is one of many documents that guides the district in maintaining safe and reliable water for its customers and communities.