Project Description: The San Diego County Water Authority (Water Authority) is preparing to implement the final phase of its multi-phase Emergency Water Storage Project (ESP) to extend emergency water supply service to the northernmost portions of the Water Authority’s service area in northern San Diego County. To extend ESP service to these areas, the ESP North County Pump Stations phase proposes two new pump stations, two flow control facilities and appurtenant interconnecting pipelines and valves, and improvements to a member agency’s water distribution system, which together will lift and convey water to these northern service areas. Constructing and commissioning the proposed facilities will require agreements between the Water Authority and each of the four affected member agencies, specifying details of project ownership, construction, and operation.
The ESP was the subject of the Emergency Water Storage Project Final Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS, SCH #92011028). The Water Authority was lead agency pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) was the lead agency pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). On August 15, 1996, the Water Authority’s Board of Directors certified the EIR/EIS; approved the project; and adopted the supporting CEQA Findings of Fact, Statement of Overriding Considerations, and Mitigation Monitoring Program (MMP). The ACOE issued a NEPA Record of Decision in 1996.
The EIR/EIS assumed that the ESP would include new facilities to bring ESP water to the northern member agencies, but subsequent project planning has identified reduced projected water demands and operational efficiencies resulting in the need for slight alterations of the previously analyzed components, as well as the need for addition of other minor improvements that were not explicitly discussed by the EIR/EIS. Specifically, the additional components planned for this phase of the ESP that were not addressed in the EIR/EIS are infrastructure improvements to the existing Valley Center Municipal Water District (District) water-transmission system consisting of several minor upgrades and capacity expansions, including (1) expansion of the District’s existing San Gabriel Pump Station, (2) upsizing a portion of an existing discharge pipeline in Lilac Road, (3) construction of a new flow control facility (Halcones FCF) to connect to the Yuima Municipal Water District (YMWD) distribution system, (4) extension of the Muutama discharge pipeline, (5) construction of a new flow control facility (McNally FCF), (6) minor modifications of several other existing pump stations, and (7) relocation and abandonment of an existing pipeline west of Lilac Road (together, “Valley Center Improvements”).
Due to their limited scale, incorporating the Valley Center Improvements is a minor modification to the approved alternative ESP addressed in the original environmental document. The Water Authority prepared and considered an addendum to the EIR/EIS, Addendum 21, to document the planned changes in ESP features and consider the potential environmental impacts related to these changes, approving Addendum No. 21 on July 13, 2021. On August 16, 2021, the District adopted Resolution No. 2021-30 considering the Addendum, making responsible agency findings under CEQA, and approving the Valley Center Improvements.