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 is advancing two innovative projects. On December 12, 2018, OMWD’s Board of Directors adopted “Mitigated Negative Declarations” for each project. 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.
Project 1: Desalination Test Well
The first project will install 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): Once installed, the pilot test well should not be visible, and residents will not notice any change to their day-to-day water supply. OMWD anticipates that the pilot test well will take six days to install, and will require 24-hour construction for those six days. OMWD will use significant measures (sound walls and acoustic padding) to help reduce construction noise and vibration for this short period.
After construction completion, residents should not see or hear anything related to the test well operation. Construction should start and end in January 2019.
Project 2: Recycled Water Pipeline Extension
The second project will extend a recycled water pipeline from OMWD’s existing recycled water line located near Morgan Run Club and Resort and connect a new meter near the northeastern end of the Surf Cup Sports, LLC property. The pipeline extension will convert an existing groundwater/potable water user to a recycled water user for irrigation purposes. This will help reduce the need for imported water. OMWD currently can deliver each day more than two million gallons of sustainable, locally produced, tertiary-treated recycled (non-drinking) water for landscape irrigation at schools, parks, golf courses, medians, and homeowner associations throughout its service area.
Resident Impact: Construction for this project is expected to begin in late 2018 and will last about one month. Construction hours will be Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and should not impact nearby residents.
A public hearing to receive verbal feedback on the MNDs 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.