Monday, November 30, 2015 • 06:13

Emergency mandatory water conservation on tap

Potential fees may be established for those who frequently waste water in Valley Center.
August 06, 2014
When the Valley Center Water Board held its meeting July 21, staff provided an informational report on the action by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on implementing mandatory emergency water conservation regulations. It was reported that in the view of staff supported by District General Counsel, if the district goes to Level 2 Water Alert of its Water Supply Shortage Response Plan, it will meet the requirements of the new SWRCB regulations. Implementing a Level 2 Water Alert essentially takes the Level 1 Water Watch voluntary measures and makes those mandatory.

Staff reported it will return on the board meeting of Aug. 4 with a recommendation to move to a Level 2 as well as present an overview of the implementation and enforcement provisions. Staff reported that a mailing list will be sent to all customers by mid-August. Active enforcement will start the beginning of Sept. to allow customers time to become familiar with the mandatory water conservation provisions. It was stated the goal of the program is to encourage and achieve water conservation and not to become a police agency imposing fines and sanctions on customers. It was advised there exists the potential for fines but fines would only be used in extreme cases of willful and repeated violations. In addition, the district will set up a water waste hotline so that customers can report water waste.

A quarterly project update report was presented on the process of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) for the district's water and waste water system. For the last several years, the district has been replacing its telemetry system with the state of the art SCADA system which allows remote status monitoring and operational control of its critical facilities including pump stations, reservoirs, and waste water treatment plants. The Radio Frequency (RF) system developed to transmit the SCADA data also provides the capability of transmitting real time visual data from the high definition day-night cameras, which allow District staff to monitor security at all critical sites in the water and waste water systems.

It was reported that of the 50 master-planned SCADA sites, 36 have been completed, four are currently under construction, and six more are scheduled for installation in FY 2014-15. All aspects of the system design installation and site programming are completed by in-house staff in the Engineering, Operations, and Information Technology Departments. SCADA expenditures in FY 2013-14 were $215,925 and are budgeted at $375,649 for the water system, and $486,225 for the waste water system, for a total of $861,874

Implementation of the SCADA system has resulted in more efficient system operations and a reduction in labor needed to monitor and operate the water and waste water systems.

The annual review of Board Member Per Diem Compensation was given by staff who presented a survey of per diems paid to Water Board Members for attending Board meetings and business. The survey indicated that Board per diems paid range from a high of $240 per meeting of day of Board business paid by the Western MWD in Riverside County per meeting of day of Board business to a low of $100 paid by VCMWD and four other water agencies in the 24 water agency survey.

For days of Board business lasting less than four hours, VCMWD Directors are only compensated $50, which is the lowest compensation level of any Water District Board Member. After reviewing survey data, the VCMWD Board voted unanimously to keep its per diem at $100 for Board meetings and full days of Board business and $50 for other than Board meetings and days of Board business lasting less than four hours.

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