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Water Supply

An adequate and reliable water supply is vital for the future of San Diego. The Public Utilities Department, Long-Range Planning and Water Resources Division is actively pursuing ways to increase our water supplies and our options. This includes maximizing all local alternatives, collaboration with other City organizations and reaching out to regional partners. Division activities also include planning, support and protection of the City's resources to support a safe and sustainable water supply.

Long-Range Planning

The PDF icon City's Urban Water Management Plan serves as an overarching integrated water resources planning document for the City's residents, businesses, interest groups and public officials. This plan provides information on current and future water demands and supplies, discusses water resources challenges and summarizes major water resources initiatives that the City has proactively taken to ensure a safe, reliable water supply for its water customers.

The City's PDF icon Long-Range Water Resources Plan is a high-level strategy document intended to provide information to decision-makers regarding the tradeoffs of future water resources investments, with a long-range viewpoint through the year 2035 planning horizon.

Groundwater Development

The Long-Range Planning and Water Resources Division is actively planning or developing several groundwater basins for municipal water supply and other beneficial use. Currently, the annual groundwater available for beneficial use is approximately 500 acre-feet per year (AFY) from the existing production wells in the San Diego River Valley Groundwater Basin.  From the Coast Plain of the San Diego Groundwater Basin (formerly the San Diego Formation), beginning in 2018, the City started receiving an estimated 2,600 AFY of desalinated groundwater from the Expanded Richard A. Reynolds Facility or an equivalent amount, from the Sweetwater Authority.  This new supply is a permanent addition to the City's diversified water portfolio.

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA) is new legislation that provides a framework for sustainable management of groundwater supplies by local authorities. Local agencies involved in the implementation must form local groundwater sustainability agencies within two years. For agencies in groundwater basins deemed high or media priority, groundwater sustainability plans must be adopted by Jan. 31, 2022. By 2042, sustainability agencies in medium and high-priority basins should achieve sustainable groundwater management to avoid undesirable impacts, such as seawater intrusion, chronic depletion of groundwater, reduction of groundwater storage, degradation of water quality, depletion of surface water, or land subsidence.

The City has two groundwater basins that are governed by SGMA legislation: San Pasqual Valley Groundwater Basin and the San Diego River Valley Groundwater Basin. On June 27, 2017, the San Diego City Council approved forming a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) and the preparation of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) for each basin to comply with the requirements of SGMA. The GSPs must be adopted by 2022.






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