RANCHO SANTA FE — During an Oct. 29 meeting, the Santa Fe Irrigation District’s Board both amended and approved an agreement with the San Dieguito Water District and city of San Diego. The agreement underscored how the Santa Fe Irrigation District and San Dieguito Water District would have future “rights” to Lake Hodges’ water supply.
This agreement had made a couple of rounds before arriving to the San Fe Irrigation District. The agreement was first approved by the San Diego City Council in September, and once again, by the San Dieguito Water District Board of Directors on Oct. 15.
Representatives from the Santa Fe Irrigation District explained that the three water agencies will now have access to this local water supply, while sharing any financial costs. They also pointed out that Lake Hodges is considered a regional aqueduct system and serves as an important role in the San Diego County Water Authority’s Emergency Storage Project.
“This is a real good benefit to all of our customers,” said Jessica Parks, Santa Fe Irrigation District public information officer. “The San Diego County Water Authority Emergency Storage Project is this pipeline from Lake Hodges up to the Olivenhain Reservoir. “That is actually a power supply because they pump water up and then run it down at night generating power from a power generator that they have so this adds power to the region and its energy for our customers.”
Parks went on to say that now that the city of San Diego has direct connection to Lake Hodges, this is good for the region, because now they can draw and store their water there.
The most promising thing about this amendment, Parks said, is that it preserves the District’s rights and also defines the local water split.
The Santa Fe Irrigation District Board President Michael T. Hogan, stated, “The updated agreement recognizes and balances the complex needs of multiple stakeholders, including regional interests, while ensuring sound management of a valuable water supply for generations to come.”
The signing of this agreement by the Santa Fe Irrigation District was the last step, and once put into place, the agreement is effective immediately.
“I want our customers to understand that this agreement is actually beneficial to all of us because having local rights to Lake Hodges water gives us a local water supply,” she said. Parks continued, “This is a beneficial source because this water is here, and it costs less for us to be able to treat local water than to import expensive water.”
Parks also pointed out that the District is happy they were able to collaborate with the city of San Diego, the San Diego County Water Authority and the San Dieguito Water District.
It wasn’t an easy task, Parks said, but they are delighted it is completed now.