Water Supply Diversification Projects
OMWD’s regional water wholesalers purchase and import nearly 100 percent of OMWD’s potable water supply from outside our region. This water is subject to rate increases outside of our control and is also vulnerable to service interruptions from natural disasters, state regulations, and drought. Diversifying our local water supply provides more control over water for our region and helps stabilize costs by reducing the need for imported water.
To further diversification efforts, OMWD undertook an innovative project in Rancho Santa Fe. OMWD’s Board of Directors adopted a “Mitigated Negative Declaration” for a desalination test well on December 12, 2018. An MND is part of the California Environmental Quality Act process and outlines measures OMWD will take to avoid any environmental impacts or reduce to less than significant. A Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Program will be included as part of the MND to ensure compliance with the adopted mitigation measures.
Desalination Test Well
The first project installed a pilot test well at the northeast corner of the Surf Cup Sports, LLC property in Rancho Santa Fe. This pilot well will be tested for one year to determine whether there is sufficient groundwater to support a future brackish groundwater desalination effort. If hydrogeological conditions are favorable, OMWD could then consider whether to pursue a project that could ultimately construct a small groundwater desalination plant that would produce at least one million gallons of local drinking water per day.
Resident Impact(s): The pilot test well should not be visible and residents will not notice any change to their day-to-day water supply. OMWD used significant measures (sound walls and acoustic padding) to help reduce construction noise and vibration.
Residents should not see or hear anything related to the test well operation. Construction of the test well was completed in April 2019.
A public hearing to receive verbal feedback on the MND was held on November 7, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. at OMWD’s administrative headquarters located at 1966 Olivenhain Road in Encinitas. A community meeting to discuss a test well in San Dieguito Valley was held at Solana Santa Fe Elementary on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at 5:30 p.m.
Please contact Assistant General Manager Joey Randall at 760-753-6466, extension 148, if you have any questions about OMWD’s diversification efforts.