FALLBROOK – Every year the mission at Rainbow MWD is to provide our customers with reliable, high quality water and water reclamation service in a fiscally sustainable manner. To that end, the board and staff at Rainbow had a series of notable accomplishments for 2022.
While our main focus is on water supply and sanitation, our location in the urban/wildland interface makes fire safety a key objective. The District's Rapid Aerial Water Supply system – or heli-hydrant – was recognized as the 2022 Innovative Project of the Year by the California Special Districts Association.
This project, built in cooperation with North County Fire and CalFire, created the first year round source of firefighting water for helicopters in San Diego County. Our project was noticed by regional leaders, so more of these installations will be coming to our service area in 2023.
The district also was awarded grant funding from CalOES for the installation of backup generators for remote pump stations as well as funding to provide solar/battery backup power for communications facilities shared with North County Fire. These will help ensure reliable water service when SDG&E shuts off power in the region and provide reliable communications for first responders even when power supplies get cut.
After a rigorous review of our operational/administration practices, the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority offered the district a new property, liability, and worker's comp insurance policy that will save our ratepayers up to $364,000 annually. This achievement will pay dividends to our ratepayers going forward.
The district received the highest awards for financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association – the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting. This award is given out only if budgets and annual financial reports meet rigorous standards for accuracy and transparency.
The district is making great strides in upgrades to the infrastructure in our area. Our Water Service Upgrade Project was completed in 2022 after making significant customer focused upgrades to every water service in our district.
We are over halfway done with the wastewater project that will include a new pump station and enlarged sewer lines along Hwy 76 from the River Village shopping center all the way over to Old River Road near the elementary school. This sewer project is being funded primarily by development activities in our area.
After a nearly three year long process, LAFCO is nearing the end of its evaluation of our proposal to change wholesale water suppliers and will be voting on the application likely in March 2023. Should they approve the matter, our voters will weigh in later in the year. This process will help us reduce water rate increases and fund critical infrastructure projects in our area rather than paying for infrastructure projects that we don't use.
Finally, we invite any interested residents in our service area to join one of our ratepayer led committees who review our activities and provide direct input to our Board. This is your district so we encourage you to get involved. See our website for details – http://www.rainbowmwd.com.
Submitted by Rainbow Municipal Water District.