Rainbow hears about alternative water sources

The Rainbow Municipal Water District board heard a presentation on options for the district to diversify its water portfolio.

The presentation was not a voting item at the board’s May 28 meeting. “The principal recommendation was that we pursue groundwater resources,” said Rainbow general manager Brian Brady.

Rainbow staff completed an alternative water source feasibility study which evaluated various alternatives for the district to develop additional water supplies. The Rainbow district currently receives 100 percent of its water from the San Diego County Water Authority, and the development of additional supplies would increase Rainbow’s water supply reliability while also helping to mitigate the price increases for imported water.

The feasibility study caused district staff to determine that the top two priorities for the district to pursue would be evaluating groundwater supply development in the San Luis Rey Basin and evaluating development of recycled water service in conjunction with the Valley Center Municipal Water District and/or the Fallbrook Public Utility District.

The Rainbow district territory overlays sub-basins of the Santa Margarita Basin and the San Luis Rey Basin. Rainbow lacks groundwater rights in either basin, but the district has a right to utilize recaptured return flows from imported water the district provided to customers. The feasibility study indicated that up to 2,900 acre-feet per year of additional groundwater supplies could be developed; that amount does not include any additional contribution from FPUD imported water flows if Rainbow and FPUD collaborate. Brady is also FPUD’s general manager.

Utilizing the return flows would require hydrological studies which demonstrate that the return flows are being conveyed to the location where the groundwater pumping would occur. Studies must also determine the level of water treatment and associated cost for any groundwater developed from the return flows. District staff will develop a request for proposals to hire a consultant with expertise in hydrology, water rights, and groundwater treatment to assist the district. Board approval would be needed for an actual consultant contract.

The consultant would assist the district in evaluating the hydrology of the San Luis Rey Basin to determine the amount of imported water return flows which would be developed based on alternative groundwater well field locations, identifying any water rights permitting requirements and assisting with submission of any needed applications, assisting with water quality and feasibility analyses of groundwater treatment plant requirements, and developing a footprint along with estimated capital, operations, and maintenance costs for the associated treatment facilities, wells, and conveyance facilities.

Recycled water is typically sold at 15 to 20 percent less than imported water, and recycling water will also reduce sewage conveyance and treatment costs. Rainbow currently pays the City of Oceanside approximately $1,100 per acre-foot of effluent, which along with new revenue from recycled water sales at approximately $1,100 per acre-foot could be used as funding to develop recycled supplies.

Rainbow’s staff recommended that the next future board action regarding evaluation of recycled water should be pursuing the development of a joint study with the Valley Center Municipal Water District and the Fallbrook Public Utility District. FPUD has excess recycled water available as well as outfall and recycled treatment capacity, Rainbow has wastewater treatment capacity in San Luis Rey and large agricultural customers who could benefit from discounted recycled water, and Valley Center has a secondary effluent near Rainbow’s agricultural customer base and new developments which have requirements to build treatment plants.

21 Responses to "Rainbow hears about alternative water sources"

  1. Me   July 25, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Just lower our …. rates. The base fee is ridiculous.

  2. Lee   July 26, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Dear fellow Fallbrookers, instead of waiting for our two water districts to get off the pot trying to figure out what their next move(s) is, there IS something that you and I can do to lower our water cost. Many of us have already come to the realization, as clearly evident from the numerous and large swaths of abandoned avocado groves, that the experiment known as an avocado simply makes no economic and agricultural sense here in arid SoCal. The truth, which we all know to be the case whether we admit it or not, is that SoCal is a Mediterranean region and climate, while an avocado tree is, basically, a tropical plant requiring a great deal of water. Sure, we have the sun and warmth, but we lack the abundant supply of water needed to grow avocados. So how does growing a tropical plant here make sense? It doesn’t. Yes, 50 or so years ago when water was dirt cheap, it made sense; today it does not. So what does make sense here? What does make sense that a few fellow Fallbrookers — and more and more, it seems — have already figured out? What makes sense to replace avocados YET maintaining the rural and agricultural lifestyle that we all so love and cherish?

    got olives and grapes?

    Olives, once mature, require a fraction of the water that avocados need; nay, mature olives actually do not need any artificial watering at all. Furthermore, how many of you know that Fallbrook was olive country 100 years ago? Here you go:



    Heck, why do you think we have . . . Olive Hill Road?

    Olives provide a great — and, I would argue, the perfect — combination of low water consumption AND a beautiful rural setting. Isn’t that absolutely wonderful, Fallbrookers? I think so.

    A well-respected wine grower from the Temecula Valley once told me that (A) Fallbrook’s wineries actually produce BETTER wines than those in Temecula, and (B), perhaps equally important, Fallbrook’s growing conditions to grow grapes are BETTER than that of Temecula. Did you know that? Grapes also require far less water than avocados although, true, a bit more than olives. But the point is that we DO have excellent alternatives while still maintaining and enjoying our rural lifestyle! For those of you whose concern may be that you do not have enough acreage to grow grapes, well, consider the fact that Temecula’s wineries also do not grow all of their grapes in Temecula but instead import them from other regions. So if many Fallbrook properties were to grow grapes, no matter the amount, you could sell them to Temecula’s wineries or the ones we have right here in Fallbrook. Problem solved.

    Dear fellow Fallbrookers, my point is simple: you and I DO have alternate and far better water use options yet while STILL maintaining and enjoying our rural lifestyle: olives and grapes. Please give it some thought. Thank you.

  3. @Lee   July 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I have a tiny yard in town, my bill is $285.00 for one month… I water once a week, laundry once a week and shower daily…how do I save $$. I hate my water bill. Carlsbad is doing a small experimental salt-water conversion plant for 20,000 people…we will see how that goes! Hope.

  4. Me   July 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm


    Wow. $285.00 a month…for just the uses you mentioned? I have a 4000 sq ft house and guest house with a large yard. I water 4 times a week with 3 of us taking daily showers and doing wash etc….and your bill is over double ours.

    If I were you I would immediately shut off all your faucets, washer, dishwasher etc….and then check your water meter dial at the street to see if it is still moving.

    It sounds like you may have a small, but consistent leak. When I bought my home here four years ago, the first thing I checked was my water meter. Sure enough with everything off….it was still rotating. I walked a direct line from the meter to my home on a hill and found a patch of weeds that were greener than the rest….I found that my water supply PVC pipe 3 feet underground, had a leak at a joint and it was spraying out around the joint.

  5. Carla   July 26, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Many of these problems stem directly from rampant sprawl development. The traditional single family style of residential construction, particularly here in Southern California, is highly wasteful of resources. The land, oil for private automobile use and water for landscaping, all implicit in sprawl development could easily be ameliorated by changes in land use patterns. Around the country on average more than a third of residential water usage is devoted to landscape needs and here in dry, warm, sunny Southern California that percentage jumps to almost 60 percent.

    While I understand that zoning is not the prerogative of local water agencies, radical zoning changes would go a long way in helping alleviate so many of our problems on various ecological fronts, sustainable water supplies being among them. SD County and its incorporated cities should adapt smart growth approaches and allow much higher density construction in our already developed cores and greatly disallow new residential development outside of these geographic parameters. Our state and federal governments can do their parts by predicating local assistance for new roads, sewers, electrical and water infrastructure and repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure on local compliance with smart growth mandates. Private utilities should be required to do likewise.

    Unfortunately, there are no simple magic pill solution. Maintaining clean, reliable future water supplies for everyone will require concerted effort by multiple agencies across local, state, national and international jurisdictions.

  6. Pink   July 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    @Comment #3: I also have small yard. 1/4 acre, in town. I pay about $100. Check for leaks.

  7. Reality Checker   July 27, 2013 at 10:02 am

    When was the last time anyone actually read their water bill? The cost of the water, and the power to deliver it is but a tiny portion of how much your bill is. You could completely shut off all your water right at the meter and your bill will only decrease by a minimal amount. It’s the water authority overhead and legacy costs that makes up the majority of your monthly bill. On mine, my water is about $6.00, and the billing is 25.00. There are lots of other charges like that, too. Your water bill reads more like a phone bill lol.

  8. Me   July 27, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    So true Reality Checker. Then read your property tax bill (if you’re a homeowner)…there are a hald dozen water-related charges there too.

  9. Me   July 27, 2013 at 8:36 pm


  10. Reality Checker   July 27, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Carla, if its state run everything you would like……..how about you pack up and get a one way ticket to North Korea. You would walk barefooted and look for grass to eat conditions are so good there. The state is everything there. You would love it. Go. Now. Before freedom breaks out 🙂

  11. Reality Checker   July 27, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    And Carla, your comments remind me of watching that show Americas dumbest on TV. You know, the show where celebrities comment on stupid stunts performed by idiots who get their balls smashed, thier teeth knocked out, limbs and noses broken, or get stuck in vent ducts trying to break in to convenience stores, ect.? The reason your posts remind me of that is I see some parallels in the thinking, or lack thereof. It’s always too late, after the fact, after things go wrong (that are foreseeable even by the least intelligent of our species) when they realize…….they were idiots. It’s always the case. I don’t know about everyone else, but I don’t want America to become like North Korea, Germany, Russia, or China, some place where millions of people starve to death trying to achieve a statist utopian society. Thats where statism always ends up. Always. its communism, and its no good. People that believe in that crap are known as useful idiots. But, they don’t know they were being idiots until they are ordered at gunpoint to get on a train, or lie in a ditch they just dug, or line up against a wall…… Stop your emotional clinging to an ideal utopia that can only be provided to you by the government, it won’t work.

  12. Olivia   July 28, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Don’t waste your breath Reality Checker. Carla has been indoctrinated by the best. Old, smelly, grey haired bearded men, wearing Birkenstocks and sweat pants. Left over professors from an era gone by. Universities can be a place of great learning or they can be a place of merciless brain washing. She is reading her material from a textbook, straight out of Marxism 101. I, for one, do not want the government to control everything that I do. I would like the right to think for myself and make my own decisions, that way, if I fail, I have only myself to blame. People who think like Carla always need a scapegoat, someone to blame for all of life’s ills. If you have a leak in your water line, get it fixed, don’t wait for the government to do it for you.

  13. Longtime res.   July 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Wow @ Lee I have a large house 2 acres water at least 3 times a week swimming pool 2 teenagers…Bill 200 a month somethings wrong !!!!

  14. Carla   July 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    @Reality Checker. You suggest I move to North Korea but why should I? Since so many of you right wingers think we’re on the cusp of some sort of North Korean invasion, wouldn’t it be more prudent to just sit it out at home and wait for their arrival here? http://thevillagenews.com/story/72408/story/72408/

    @12. Certainly you can do better than that, can’t you? yawn………..

  15. De Luz Neighbor   July 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Reality Checker and Olivia,

    Carla shares her thoughts and opinions and you hurl demeaning insults at her? If you and I were alone in the same room, I doubt you’d be taking the abusive liberties that you do here.

    MWD and all its member agencies will confirm that we do not have the water needed to sustain the growth that’s projected for our area. This is a fact.

    Every twenty years or so, our local governments create a ‘General Plan’. This plan takes into consideration projected growth and available resources. In fact, San Diego County’s zoning has just been changed and those changes incorporate many of Carla’s suggestions.

  16. De Luz Neighbor   July 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm


    I’d be cautious recommending agricultural crops like olives and grapes as an avocado alternative. Both crops have been tried and abandoned in San Diego County and now have Pierce’s disease and the olive fruit fly to contend with. Olives and probably grapes can be grown in areas like the Central Valley where land and water is much less expensive.

    Avocados may use more water than olives (which are little more than a garnish) but they are in high demand and are a ‘known quantity’. Another advantage to avocados is the abundance of local packing houses that handle the marketing and shipping.

    Avocados are grown in Chile and Mexico but our seasons are staggered and jointly the different growing areas provide a globally continuous supply. However, if you’ve eaten imported avocados, you know California fruit is better. We receive a well deserved premium. Also, any advantage they may have in cheaper water is lost in shipping.

    Seems like the average homeowner has the most to gain by being water-wise. Lawns use every bit as much water as avocados. If you had suggested ‘edible landscape’ or xerophytic gardening, I’d be right there with you.

    When people ask what commercial crop they should plant, I tell them to talk to a commercial grower, like me, and plant what they believe in. I say that because they’ll need to market their product with conviction to be successful. Imagine trying to market olives! Yikes! And grapes, what are you going to do? Make wine? Imagine……hmmm……well, grapes might not be too bad 😉

  17. grunt   July 28, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    hey, Lee, shouldn’t we vote before you recommend Olives??

  18. Olivia   July 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    @Carla #14: Why should I try? I think I told it like it is. You are extremely well read. So am I. You hold one viewpoint, I have another. It is American, isn’t it? I think De Luz Neighbor is still wearing the a fore mentioned Birkenstocks. His reaction is predictable. I don’t believe that you need to move to North Korea, we, and I do mean we, have free speech in this country. I do believe, however, that a year or two spent in a third world country, let us say for example, Mexico, might do you a world of good. I don’t mean Cancun, or Acapulco, I mean the interior. If you survive, and that is a very big "if", you may, just learn something about how darn lucky you are to be able to take all that you have for granted.

  19. Reality Checker   July 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Carla has her opinions, I have mine. Mine happen to be correct. Carla’s are a product of illogical, emotionally based socialist indoctrination provided by government indoctrination centers, or what used to be known as public school. Reminicent of Hitler youth. Same thing, just a different century, different continent. I’m not trying to insult anyone, I’m just speaking the truth, provable with facts and historical examples. Carla, if anyone thinks for one second that either China, North Korea, Iran, Russia, or any combination of them won’t attack us when our economic system collapses. Then they are just damn fools. Those pricks are chomping at the bit for that time to come. If that’s what people want, then they don’t deserve to live in freedom. Period. They just aren’t American. Those people are traitors to our nation. They are playing for the other team. They are ignorant fools that won’t learn thier lesson on freedom until they lose it. Freedom schmeedom, what does it really matter, right? We have our X-boxes, our cable TV, our Taco Bell, and welfare and Obamacare to take care of us if we don’t feel like working or need to see a doctor to take care of our STD’s.
    Lemme tell you kind of people something right now, all that crap won’t get you fed when food runs out, its 1000 times more expensive to live, and you starve for days at a time, when you live under a bridge, or in some bushes because you don’t have the money to put a roof over your head, and when a loaf of bread is going to cost you 100.00 dollars, and you have some Chinese or Russian soldiers to hide from right here in Southern California. It can happen. It will happen if people don’t wake up and smell the progressive communism that infests our government. Mark my words. I pray it never happens, but it we keep going the way we are, it’s inevitable. And Carla, sorry to say it, but you and people that think like you are being played to achieve it. I wouldn’t care, really, if it were just Carla’s opinion. She’s entitled to it, sure. She as the freedom to speak it, sure. That doesn’t bug me. What frosts my flakes here is that honest, hardworking, God fearing, family oriented, freedom loving Americans way of life is being willfully put at risk because of progressive liberal ignorance. You want to talk about a boot on someone’s throat? That’s it. The real patriotic American has the progressive liberal socialst democrat boot on thier neck. One day, that progressive is going to look up, and turn aroun to find a communist soldiers gun at thier head, and then we will all hear a great sucking sound, the sound of their empty head popping out of their progressive arses! They will cry for a libertarian, or an independent, or even a repubican to come to their rescue but it will be too late. For they will have brought this down upon everyone, even after they were warned and told so over and over. That’s reality, that’s America’s future if we don’t get our act together and unite as freedom loving Americans to take our country back from the idealistic socialistic, communist utopian loving SOB’s that want nothing more than to cause the fall of the last free nation on earth.

  20. Lee   July 29, 2013 at 7:11 am

    @ #10-12

    No comment.

  21. Prestin   July 29, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Perhaps the problem with Olives is explained in the link you provided.
    "As with other cash crops traded on the national and world markets, the olive was subject to steep fluctuations of demand. Newspaper accounts on file at the Fallbrook Historical Society show that within a year of the olive cannery’s opening it was also processing tomatoes, spinach and other fruits and vegetables to remain profitable."
    What is the demand like for olives now?
    As far as Grapes go they might require about a quarter of the water that Avocados do but I believe an enormous amount of labor.
    Two things I believe could help Avocado Farmers.
    1. Change the way you water and fertilize by taking a more high tech approach.
    2. Put limits on the amount of fruit foreign countries are allow to import.


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