Camp Pendleton desal project to be added to CWA master plan portfolio

Dave Chamberlain’s Jan. 24 presentation to the San Diego County Water Authority’s Water Planning Committee wasn’t an action item, but his remarks indicated that the Camp Pendleton desalination project will be part of the SDCWA’s master plan update.

“We have an opportunity to look at additional desalination supplies,” Chamberlain said.

The purpose of the master plan update is to develop a cost-effective and reliable plan for new infrastructure capable of meeting member agency demands through the year 2035. “We want to come up with a plan that’s adaptable to changes in future supply and demand,” Chamberlain said.

The update is intended to guide future CWA investments for capital improvements. “The master plan is a document to determine the timing, need and scope of new facilities,” Chamberlain said.

Potential facilities identified in the update are currently being evaluated against projected regional demands and local supply development, water resources management, water conservation, and asset management needs. The master plan includes utilization of existing capital improvement projects. “We want to make sure that infrastructure is fully utilized before we ask the board to approve additional projects,” Chamberlain said.

The master plan update process includes data collection, assessment of the current capital improvement program, assessment of aqueduct system operations and capabilities, development of new facility and supply alternatives, evaluation of facility and supply alternatives, and selection of preferred alternatives.

“We’re really focusing on the infrastructure alternative phase,” Chamberlain said.

The objectives include integrating potential new desalination supplies into the regional treatment and conveyance system. “We want to look at conveyance impacts,” Chamberlain said.

The Camp Pendleton desalination project portion of the update evaluates a potential new supply developed in 50 million gallons per day (mgd) increments from a plant with a capacity between 50 mgd and 150 mgd.

CWA staff will work with a technical advisory committee of member agency engineering staff and general managers to develop, evaluate, and refine the alternatives. “In the next couple of months we’ll be rolling out some of the results,” Chamberlain said.

In addition to the technical advisory committee meetings, the timeline calls for an update at the Water Planning Committee’s February 28 meeting, a March 14 workshop, a selection of preferred alternatives in March or April, public review from July to September, and approval of the updated master plan and associated environmental documents in November.

The process will include a focused presentation on the Camp Pendleton desalination project as well as a focused presentation on a proposed new Colorado River conveyance system which would transport Imperial County supplies directly into the CWA’s aqueduct system at the San Vicente Reservoir between Lakeside and Ramona. The Colorado River conveyance system would be evaluated against extending Pipeline 6 from Temecula to the CWA’s Twin Oaks Diversion Structure.

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