Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

CWA approves initial supply allocation percentages

In the event that a continued drought causes cutbacks of San Diego County Water Authority supplies, the SDCWA will utilize a percentage formula for its allocation to member agencies.

The unanimous CWA board vote February 26 utilizes a three-year municipal and industrial (M&I) demand average for each CWA member agency while making adjustments for demand hardening due to water conservation, loss of local supply from groundwater and surface reservoirs, and efforts taken to develop reliable local supplies.

“This action is another formal step in preparation for allocating water this summer to M&I customers,” said CWA director of water resources Ken Weinberg.

The CWA’s drought management plan includes various drought stages.

In December 2007 the CWA declared implementation of Stage 2, which includes supply enhancement (such as execution of transfer agreements) and voluntary conservation programs.

If the CWA board deems that mandatory cutbacks are necessary in 2009, it will declare implementation of Stage 3 which limits imported M&I water supply for each member agency to an allocation percentage.

The supply allocation percentages were developed using historic base period M&I demands for Fiscal Years 2004-05 through 2006-07, and member agencies provided local supply projections for 2009 in order to compute the appropriate adjustments.

The M&I demands were also revised to reflect the recent Metropolitan Water District decision to phase out the Interim Agricultural Water Program and allow IAWP customers to opt out beginning in January 2009.

The former IAWP customers will be converted to the M&I firm demand.

“As far as Rainbow’s concerned, our M&I is going up because the ag customers have dropped out,” said Rainbow Municipal Water District board member Rua Petty, who is the Rainbow district’s representative on the CWA board.

“We have switched over now half of our previous IAWP to a firm demand,” said Fallbrook Public Utility District general manager Keith Lewinger, who represents FPUD on the CWA board. “We need to be careful next year when we’re reporting M&I usage.”

The initial allocation percentages would allow Rainbow 3.02 percent of the CWA’s imported water supply.

FPUD would be allocated 1.83 percent and the Pendleton Military Reservation would be allocated 0.01 percent.

Final allocation percentages which would update local water supply information will be brought to the CWA board in May.

The Interim Agricultural Water Program provides surplus Metropolitan Water District of Southern California supplies to agricultural customers at a discounted rate, but the IAWP conditions allow for a reduction of up to 30 percent prior to implementing any mandatory reductions to M&I customers.

A separate CWA board action February 26 approved an update to the regional IAWP reduction plan which reflects customers opting out of the IAWP for 2009, strategies for implementing deeper cuts if necessary, and details on coordination between wholesale agencies and retail customers.

Five MWD agencies have opted out altogether from the IAWP program, leaving only the CWA, the Eastern Municipal Water District, and the Western Municipal Water District.

The conversion of 73,291 acre feet to firm demand due to opt-outs leaves the MWD with a total baseline of 79,588 acre feet, including 51,219 acre feet for the CWA.

So far 56 percent of the CWA’s IAWP accounts have opted out, accounting for 49,232 acre feet of pre-cut allocation or 50 percent of the IAWP volume.

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