Water transferred out of Lake Hodges for first time ahead of rain

Posted at 3:40 PM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 18:50:36-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego County Water Authority announced today that it transferred water out of Lake Hodges for the first time to create room to capture rain and runoff from storms expected to move into the region this week.

Lake Hodges, in the North County roughly between Escondido and Rancho Bernardo, rose to nearly four feet of capacity from rains during a wet winter for the San Diego region.

The water was shifted to the Olivenhain Reservoir and is now being moved to the San Vicente Reservoir, the body of water near Lakeside where the dam was raised by 117 feet a few years ago.

The Water Authority said 7,500 acre-feet of water was transferred, enough to meet the annual needs of 15,000 single-family households.

Lake Hodges now has 8,000 acre-feet of room to capture water from the upcoming rainfall.

"This year marks the first time since we completed our Lake Hodges Pumped Storage facilities that Mother Nature has given us enough rainfall to allow us to move a significant amount of captured runoff from Lake Hodges to further increase our region's water reserves," said Mark Muir, chairman of the SDCWA Board of Directors. "These facilities will continue to boost water supply reliability for our region's 3.3 million people and $222 billion economy for decades." 

The Water Authority touted its Emergency & Carryover Storage Project, which increased the capacity of Lake Hodges, connected it to the Olivenhain Reservoir, pipeline to the San Vicente Reservoir and the dam raise.

The $1.5 billion project was designed to ensure that up to six months of local supplies are available and can be moved around the region after an emergency, such as earthquake-caused damage to the large pipelines delivering imported water into the region. Overall, it added 196,000 acre-feet of locally available water storage.