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Water Quality and Supply

Water Element of the Growth Management Strategy

The San Diego region’s economic wellbeing and quality of life depends upon securing a reliable supply of water to meet the existing and future water needs of the region. Since the 1940’s, following formation of the San Diego County Water Authority (CWA), the San Diego region has relied upon water imported from outside the county due to limited local surface and groundwater supplies. 

Currently, 70 to 95 percent of the region’s water supply is imported from the Colorado River and northern California. The CWA is a government agency comprised of cities, irrigation districts, municipal water districts, county water districts and the Pendleton Military Reservation, which is obliged by statute to provide its member agencies with adequate supplies of water to meet the increasing and expanding water needs within their respective boundaries. 

In 1992, the CWA and SANDAG entered in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which details how the two regional agencies coordinate in order to ensure the availability of water for future growth.  Under the MOA, the CWA agrees to use SANDAG’s most recent regional growth forecasts for regional water supply planning purposes, provide updated information on changes in plans or programs, and implement relevant actions contained in the water element of the Regional Growth Management Strategy. The MOA ensures that the water demand projections for the San Diego region are linked with SANDAG’s growth forecasts and that water supply is a component of the overall growth management strategy.