Good planning is the key to meeting the future water needs of a large and diverse community. The mission of the Otay Water District is to provide exceptional water and wastewater services to its customers, and to manage District resources in a transparent and fiscally responsible manner.
With limited natural water resources and less than 10-inches of average annual rainfall, San Diego County must rely on water imported from other areas of the state and the Colorado River to supply its annual demand.
Otay Water District purchases water from the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), a public agency that operates as a wholesale water supplier in San Diego County. Much of this water is in turn purchased from the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), another public agency that imports water from both Northern California (through the State Water Project) and the Colorado River. From these sources, MWD supplies approximately 19 million residents in six Southern California counties. In addition to purchasing drinking water from the SDCWA, the District purchases drinking water from the Helix Water District and the City of San Diego.
The population of the District’s service area has grown dramatically since it was established by voters back in 1956. The District responded to the challenge by closely following its long-range Strategic Business Plan and providing the infrastructure network and services needed to serve a large and changing customer base. To ensure customers always have an ample water supply, the District has actively worked to continue diversifying its water resources. This includes collaborating with neighboring water agencies, investigating local groundwater aquifers, supporting efforts to develop ocean water desalination, supporting agricultural to urban water transfers, promoting conservation and the use of recycled water.
Otay Water District is a recognized leader in the use of recycled water for irrigation. The District’s Ralph W. Chapman Water Recycling Facility produces more than one million gallons per day of high quality recycled water. The District also purchases up to another six million gallons per day of recycled water from the City of San Diego’s South Bay Water Reclamation Plant. This recycled water is used to irrigate golf courses, parks and open space in eastern Chula Vista.
Water conservation will always be a high priority and the District has put into practice a wide-range of cost-effective solutions for homes and businesses. The District is also founding sponsor of the award-winning Water Conservation Garden. Located on the campus of Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, this 5-acre plus demonstration garden illustrates the many ways water-conserving landscapes can be achieved economically and beautifully.
These are just a few of the ways the Otay Water District is working for the future, serving the community, and making the most of the region’s precious water resources.