Stories

County Water Authority Celebrates Award

July 13, 2017

By Ana Gomez Salcido

The American Society of Civil Engineers, along with dozens of local water leaders and stakeholders, celebrated the San Diego County Water Authority’s Emergency and Carryover Storage Project winning ASCE’s top international engineering award with a plaque presentation ceremony at Olivenhain Dam near Escondido, on Tuesday, July 11.

The American Society of Civil Engineers President Norma Jean Mattei presented the plaque for winning ASCE’s 2017 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award to the Water Authority’s leadership, including Board Chair Mark Muir and General Manager Maureen Stapleton.

Mattei saluted the Water Authority and its member agencies for having the foresight and dedication to build the Emergency and Carryover Storage Project, a $1.5 billion system of dams, reservoirs, pump stations, pipelines and tunnels, to help protect the region’s 3.3 million people and $222 billion economy from extended dry periods or emergencies that could disrupt imported water deliveries.

“The Water Authority planned for the future, making an investment that ensures the public’s health, safety, and welfare in case of disaster through this project,” Mattei said. “We stand here today because the San Diego County Water Authority, and all 24 member agencies that are part of it, were willing to make the investment because they saw the value and had the vision to put plans in motion.”

The project, which began in 1992 is designed to ensure up to six months of available local water supplies and can be moved around the region after an emergency, such as an earthquake that damages the large-scale pipelines delivering imported water into the region.

The project also added capacity for more than 105,000 acre-feet of local “carryover” storage – water stored during wet years to help meet demands in dry years.

Overall, it added more than 200,000 acre-feet of locally available water storage capacity (an acre-foot is approximately 325,900 gallons, enough to supply two single-family households of four for a year.) Major construction of the projects was completed in 2014.

“The Emergency and Carryover Storage Project is a testament to the vision and drive of the Water Authority’s Board, management, and staff to ensure water supply reliability for our region,” Muir said. “We are proud to receive this distinguished recognition, and to have ASCE’s president personally present this plaque further honors the hard work put in by everyone at the Water Authority and its project partners to make this project a success.”

The Water Authority project earned ASCE’s top annual engineering award this spring.

Other finalists included: One World Trade Center in New York City and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Terminal 2 in Mumbai, India.

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