Frequently Asked Questions
What determines water rates?
The cost of water is the Water Authority’s largest expense and has the biggest impact on rates.
How do I search The Network for small businesses?
- Log in to The Network: http://www.govbids.com/scripts/thenetwork/public/home1.asp
- Scroll down to the lower right hand corner of the Main Menu. Click on “Search Program for Approved Small Businesses”.
Select these three boxes:
- “Search by NIGP Code”
- “County in CA” – select “SAN DIEGO” (and other counties if desired) on the pull down
- “Small Business Enterprise”
- Click “Start Search”
- Enter key words in “Enter keyword here”. Click “Search”.
- A list of NIGP codes will come up. Check the boxes of the one(s) that apply. (Pay attention to whether the codes are related to equipment or services.)
The list of small businesses will come up. You can do one of two things:
- Click individually on “Contact Info”. Each company’s information will then display on the right of the screen.
- “Click Here to open or save data in an Excel spreadsheet”. Once the Excel spreadsheet opens, copy the entire spreadsheet, open Excel on your desktop, and paste the spreadsheet into the desktop Excel. You can then sort and/or save. Close The Network Excel spreadsheet, since you’ll be working with the desktop Excel.
- If you want to search for something else, click on “New Search” in the upper right hand corner of the banner at the top of the page.
- You can also search by NAICS codes, instead of NIGP codes.
Is there enough water for fighting wildfires?
Yes. Fighting wildfires fires is a top priority, and there are no restrictions on the availability of water for that critical mission to protect health and safety.
Why are we in a drought?
California is in its fifth straight year of drought. Ongoing dry conditions have limited water supplies from the Sierra Nevada and the State Water Project, greatly diminishing deliveries for communities in many parts of the state, especially areas of Northern California and the Central Valley. These conditions prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency due to drought conditions in January 2014 and take a number of actions to help manage supplies.
In 2015, following the lowest Sierra Nevada snowpack on record for April 1, the governor announced actions to save water, prevent water waste, streamline the state's drought response efforts and invest in new technologies to make the state more resilient to drought. Click here to view the governor's executive order.
In May 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted mandatory water-use reduction targets designed to achieve the governor’s order for a 25 percent reduction in urban water-use statewide. In the San Diego region, the state’s mandate translated to water-saving targets between 12 and 36 percent for the Water Authority’s retail water agencies from June 2015 through February 2016.
In March 2016, state regulators certified the supply of potable water from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant as drought-resilient, reducing the regional impacts of emergency water-use mandates the state imposed in June 2015. Certification by the State Board lowered the regional aggregate water conservation goal from 20 percent to about 13 percent from March through October 2016, though water-use targets will continue to vary by local water agency.
Who decides if the San Diego region needs to take steps to manage supplies because of drought conditions?
The San Diego County Water Authority is the region’s water wholesaler, and its mission is to provide a safe, reliable supply of water to its 24 member retail water agencies and cities which in turn serve 3.2 million people. When faced with water supply challenges, the Water Authority’s Board of Directors, which consists of representation from each member agency, can activate the region’s Water Shortage and Drought Management Plan. That plan outlines orderly, progressive actions the Water Authority can take to avoid or minimize the quality of life and economic impacts caused by escalating water supply challenges.
When the plan is activated, the Water Authority can also declare different levels of drought conditions according to its Model Drought Response Ordinance. The model ordinance is a tool that fosters countywide consistency on specific responses and water-use restrictions put into effect to reflect the severity of drought or other forms of regional supply shortage. The Water Authority’s 24 member agencies use Board decisions to set their own local drought response levels and actions, which may vary.
On Feb. 13, 2014, the Water Authority’s Board activated the drought management plan and declared a Drought Watch condition, which calls for increased voluntary water conservation to help manage supplies in accordance with the Model Drought Response Ordinance.
At its July 24, 2014 meeting, the Water Authority’s Board activated the next stage of the region’s drought response plan and declared a Drought Alert condition calling for mandatory water conservation measures to prevent water waste.
The State Water Resources Control Board is taking the lead in carrying out the governor’s executive order to achieve statewide water-use reductions of 25 percent. The agency has mandated water conservation measures and water-use reductions statewide. For more information about the state’s board actions, go to www.waterboards.ca.gov/.
On May 14, 2015, the Water Authority’s Board approved limits on irrigating ornamental landscapes, along with an enhanced package of outreach and conservation measures designed to help the Water Authority's member agencies meet state targets.
How is the San Diego region being protected from the most severe effects of the drought?
Our region’s vulnerability to drought has been reduced by decades of water supply reliability investments and the region’s strong water conservation ethic.
First, years of sound investments made by the Water Authority and its member agencies, in partnership with their ratepayers, have diversified the region’s water supply so it can better withstand supply shortages from any one source. These measures include securing water transfers that are part of the historic 2003 Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement. The Water Authority-Imperial Irrigation District water conservation and transfer agreement and related canal-lining projects will provide 180,000 acre-feet of highly reliable supplies to the San Diego region in 2016, more than double the amount they provided at the start of the last drought in 2007. (An acre-foot is about 325,900 gallons, enough to meet the needs of two average single-family households of four people for a year.)
In addition, the Water Authority has invested approximately $2 billion over the past decade in new, large-scale water infrastructure projects that are contributing to a more reliable water supply.
The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant is another important element of the Water Authority’s long-term strategy to improve the San Diego region’s water supply reliability. The facility produces about 50 million gallons of drinking water per day. On an annual basis it will deliver up to 56,000 acre-feet of drought-proof, highly reliable water, enough water for 112,000 households.
Water recycling and groundwater projects by Water Authority member agencies also have reduced reliance on imported water supplies.
Second, San Diego County residents, businesses and agricultural water users have done a great job embracing water conservation. Regional water use dropped by 23 percent from June 2015 through January 2016 compared to the same months in 2013. That reduced rate of water use lowers overall water demand and enables the region to stretch its available supplies – even store large volumes for future use.
Who should I contact about any specific water-use instructions or restrictions in my neighborhood?
Contact your local water provider. If you are not sure which agency provides your home or business with water, look at your water bill or find your local provider here: www.whenindrought.org.
How much water are we trying to save?
In the San Diego region, the state’s water-use reduction mandate translates to water-saving targets between 8 and 28 percent for the Water Authority’s retail water agencies from March through October 2016. . Click here to find your local water agency and learn more about targets and drought response efforts in your area. (Note: The Water Authority and its member agencies will continue to work with the State Board to refine the draft conservation standards issued March 10.)
Is there water rationing this year?
Record-high temperatures coupled with five years of drought conditions continue straining statewide water supplies. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a major supplier for the San Diego region, reduced water deliveries across its service area – including San Diego County – by 15 percent starting July 2015.
The Water Authority has enough water supplies in fiscal year 2016 to meet nearly all of the typical water demands by its 24 local retail member water agencies. With the implementation of the state’s mandatory water-use reductions, the Water Authority has stored more water for next year in local reservoirs, including the recently enlarged San Vicente Reservoir. This approach will provide significant benefits for the San Diego region – especially if the drought continues.
Where can I find more information on how to save water or incentive programs?
For tips, rebates, water-use evaluations, and other helpful resources, go to www.WaterSmartSD.org.
What is the Sheltered Market Program and how do I qualify/participate?
The Sheltered Market Program designates competition for certain contracts to small, registered, certified businesses only.
The Sheltered Market Program applies to procurements that are greater than $10,000 and up to $150,000, and for which there is a competitive pool of three or more small businesses in The Network, the Water Authority’s online vendor registration and solicitation notification system.
What is CEQA?
CEQA is an acronym for the California Environmental Quality Act, a state law that requires California agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and describe measures which can be taken to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible. An agency's action can be to approve its own project or to permit another proponent's project.
What is an EIR and why is it prepared?
EIR is an acronym for Environmental Impact Report, a document required by CEQA when an agency determines that a proposed project may have a significant effect on the environment. An EIR evaluates the proposed project’s potential impacts on the environment, and recommends mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate those impacts. Decision-makers use information in an EIR to help determine whether or not to approve a project.
What kind of information does an EIR contain?
An EIR describes the need for a project, the location of a project and how it will be constructed. It evaluates the how the existing environment could be changed if the project were approved and provides feasible mitigation measures to avoid or reduce those expected changes. An EIR inventories the existing environment in different categories called the environmental setting, including:
· agriculture and forestry resources
· air quality
· biological resources
· cultural and paleontological resources
· geology and soils
· greenhouse gases
· hazards and hazardous materials
· hydrology and water quality
· land use and planning
· mineral resources
· noise and vibration
· population and housing
· public services
· transportation and traffic
· utilities and service systems
How does the public participate in the EIR process?
The public can participate at several points during EIR preparation. The process starts when an agency publishes a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an EIR in a local newspaper of general circulation. This starts a 30-day period where the public can provide written suggestions on what information the EIR should contain. During this period, the agency may also hold scoping meetings to receive oral and written comments from the public. Notice of any scoping meetings will generally be listed in the NOP. Once the draft EIR is complete, it is released for review, typically for 45-days, and a Notice of Completion (NOC) is published in a local newspaper. The draft EIR is placed in local libraries and/or posted on a website to make it available for review, and written comments may be submitted by the public during this period. Sometimes the agency will hold a public hearing to receive oral and written public comments. Notice of any hearings will generally be listed in the NOC. Both the NOP and NOC review periods provide the public with an opportunity to shape the contents of the EIR.
What happens to the public comments that are received?
The CEQA process requires a lead agency to respond to each written comment received during the draft EIR review period. Each individual comment is evaluated for relevance to the draft EIR and a response is prepared. In some instances, a comment may result in revision to the draft EIR. The collection of comments and responses together with the draft EIR constitute what is called the Final EIR (FEIR). The FEIR must then be certified by the lead agency as adequate and in compliance with CEQA before a project can be approved.
What is a Subsequent EIR and how is it different from a regular EIR?
A subsequent EIR (sometimes called an SEIR) is a follow-up document to a previously certified FEIR. When a project has been included in an earlier FEIR, but the project or environmental conditions change substantially before the project is constructed, CEQA requires the changes to be re-analyzed to determine if any new significant environmental impacts may occur. A good example of this process is the San Diego County Water Authority's Emergency Storage Project (ESP) that was reviewed in a FEIR certified in 1997. Since then, the San Vicente Pipeline portion of the ESP has undergone changes in design, location and type of construction. In 2002, the SDCWA prepared a SEIR to analyze these project changes. The SEIR must also be certified by the lead agency as adequate and in compliance with CEQA before the project changes can be approved.
Frequently Used Acronyms
EIR- Environmental Impact Report
CEQA - California Environmental Quality Act
DEIR - Draft Environmental Impact Report
FEIR - Final Environmental Impact Report
SEIR - Subsequent or Supplemental Environmental Impact Report
NOP - Notice of Preparation [of an EIR] to be prepared.
NOC - Notice of Completion [of a DEIR] and availability for public review.
Glossary - California Environmental Quality Act Terms
Certification- A decision by the lead agency that the FEIR has been completed in compliance with CEQA and that the information contained therein reflects the lead agency's independent judgment and analyses. The lead agency must consider the information in the FEIR prior to approving the project.
Environmental Impact- The direct and indirect physical changes that are caused by the project. Impacts can be classified in four general categories: 1) beneficial impact; 2) less than significant impact; 3) less than significant impact with incorporation of mitigation measures; or 4) significant and unavoidable impact.
Environmental Setting- The existing physical conditions that may be affected by a proposed project, including both natural and man-made conditions.
Findings– Written determinations made by a public agency for each significant impact identified in the certified FEIR, accompanied by a brief explanation of the rational for each determination. The lead agency must make findings prior to approving the project.
Lead Agency- The public agency responsible for preparing an EIR that complies with the provisions of CEQA.
Mitigation Measure- Feasible actions which could minimize or eliminate significant adverse impacts; mitigation is not necessary for impacts that are not significant.
Mitigation Monitoring or Mitigation Reporting Plan- A written document, adopted when the lead agency approves a project, to ensure that mitigation measures or other project revisions identified in the certified FEIR to reduce or avoid impacts are implemented. Inspectors/monitors may be placed on-site during construction to record proper implementation of mitigation measures. The Plan remains active until all mitigation measures have been satisfactorily completed.
Project Alternatives- A reasonable range of options to the proposed project whereby most of the basic project objectives can be feasibly attained and significant environmental impacts can be avoided or substantially lessened. At least two are required in every EIR: 1) no project alternative; and 2) environmentally superior alternative. The range of alternatives is developed by considering the economic, social, environmental, legal and technical merits of various project options.
Project Description- A project description is an essential element of an EIR. It should minimally include the location of a project (with maps), a description of the facility to be built, construction techniques, the location of any additional work and staging areas, as well as any access roads. It should also include a description of the long-term operation and maintenance of the facility.
Statement of Overriding Considerations- A written statement by the lead agency to support a decision to take an action even though it results in significant and unavoidable impacts to the environment. The statement contains the specific reasons why the benefits of the action outweigh the environmental detriments.
Link to the CEQA website
How do I apply?
All applications must be submitted online at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/sdcwa/default.cfm. Select the Applicant Login link for access and instructions.
Do I need to submit anything else with my application?
If supplemental information or other materials are required as part of an application, it will be indicated on the job posting. The supplemental materials are necessary for further evaluation of your qualifications for the position for which you are applying. You must submit all supplemental information at the same time you submit your application.
I want to apply for more than one position. Do I need to fill out a separate application for each position?
Yes. Every application is evaluated separately based on the position for which you are applying. However, once you create an account, you may build an application and submit that application for multiple jobs by clicking on the ‘Populate’ button to automatically populate the new application with information from those that you previously created. Once your account is created, applying for open recruitments is quick and easy.
How can I be sure my online application was received?
When your application is received, a confirmation email will be sent.
How can I edit or delete the information on my "already submitted" online job application?
You must contact the Water Authority's Human Resources Department at 858.522.6664 to request updates to already submitted applications.
How can I review the status of recruitment, my account, or application?
You can review the status at any time by clicking on Applicant Login, using the user name and password that you created when you submitted your application.
Who will see my application?
All information is maintained on a secure web server. Only the Human Resources Department and other Water Authority staff authorized to review specific information related to job openings will have access.
What information will I be asked to provide?
You will be asked to provide information consistent with any standard application process such as name, address, phone number, education, employment history, etc.
What if I do not have a computer or access to the web?
A computer will be available in our Human Resources Department, during the hours of 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (every other Friday the Water Authority offices are closed). We are located at 4677 Overland Avenue San Diego, CA. 92123.
Do I need an email account to set up a user account to apply online?
To apply online you must have an email account. There are a number of free email services available to the general public. For example, www.aol.com, www.yahoo.com, or www.google.com.User accounts are established for one person only and should not be shared with another person or email address. Multiple applications with multiple users and email addresses may jeopardize your status in the recruitment process for any positions you apply for.
Can I submit a resume?
You may either attach or cut and paste a resume into your application. Please note that submitting a resume does not substitute for completing the entire application.
What if I am interested in a position that is not currently opened?
You may submit a Job Interest Card online. To submit a Job Interest Card online, follow the Job Interest Card instructions.
Will I automatically be considered for other positions if I previously submitted an application?
No, it is necessary to submit a new application for every job posting.
I missed the deadline. Can I still apply?
As with any position, once a closing date has passed, no application will be accepted or considered. You may want to complete a job interest card to automatically be notified when a position you are interested in becomes available.
Can anyone apply for "Promotional Opportunities"?
No. The "Promotional Opportunities" shown on the website are open only to Water Authority employees. All other persons may apply only for open positions on the Employment Opportunities page.
Do I need to maintain copies of the emails I receive?
Yes. You should maintain copies of all emails you receive for your records and future reference.
What do I do if I do not receive an email notification?
If you do not receive an email notification, check your spam or junk mail to ensure your notification was not filtered out. Also, check the email address on your account to make sure it's accurate and current. If you are still experiencing difficulty please call the Water Authority Human Resources Department at (858) 522-6664.
How are applications assessed?
All applicants are assessed relative to the qualifications listed on the job posting. Applicant information will be reviewed by the Human Resources Department and the hiring manager. Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications of the posting to be eligible for further consideration. However, meeting the minimum qualifications does not automatically guarantee an interview.
What Should I do if I am called for an interview?
If you are called for an interview by a department, there are some things you should do. Remain calm, be prompt and dress appropriately. You may also want to review the job announcement to prepare yourself for the interview. Remember, the interview is the time to show the hiring department that you are the best person for the job!
Does the Water Authority offer accommodations for individuals with disabilities?
Yes. The Water Authority does not discriminate on the basis of disability in employment, access to, or operation of its programs, services or activities. If you are disabled and need an accommodation to participate in the testing and interview process, please notify us immediately
Who can I contact if I'm having technical difficulties completing the online application?
If you are experiencing difficulties completing the online application please contact NEOGOV customer support at 1.888.NEOGOV1.
Are there goals for SCOOP? What are they?
Yes, the Water Authority’s Board of Directors has established an overall SCOOP goal of 30 percent small business dollars as a percentage of the Water Authority’s total dollars awarded. However, there are no specific goals on individual solicitation. Instead, businesses seeking to bid on construction and service projects conduct good faith outreach to reach small businesses interested in subcontracting opportunities.
What is the Public Agency Consortium?
PAC is a committed partnership of San Diego regional public agencies focused on increasing bidding opportunities and the likelihood of success of small businesses on public agency contracts. PAC collaborates on outreach events and training, and shares information about processes and bid opportunities. This partnership includes:
- California Department of Transportation
- City of San Diego
- Contracting Opportunity Center
- County of San Diego
- Port of San Diego MTS
- San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
- San Diego City Schools
- San Diego County Regional Airport Authority
- San Diego County Water Authority
- San Diego Housing Commission
- San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
- University of California San Diego
If I am a small business bidding as a prime contractor/consultant, am I required to conduct good faith outreach efforts?
Yes. Regardless of whether your business is considered small or not, the Water Authority requires that all businesses seeking to bid on construction and services projects conduct good faith outreach efforts.
Am I required to work with a small business or SCOOP firm?
No. However, if specified in the solicitation document that a good faith effort is required, each prime bidder/proposer must conduct outreach.
How do I find other small businesses?
In addition to The Network, the Water Authority's collaborative online vendor registration system, there are several resources available to find small businesses. Your firm can outreach to small businesses using the community-based organizations, and other small business registry resources listed below:
How do I find SCOOP firms?
- When subcontracting opportunities are available, the Water Authority requires that prime bidders/proposers conduct outreach to small businesses via The Network
- Firms registered with The Network can generate lists of industry-specific SCOOP firms using the “Search the Small Business Database” feature. For technical assistance, please contact The Network support team at 1-800-835-4603 or email@example.com.
How can I become a SCOOP firm?
- To be recognized as a SCOOP firm, complete the small business certification portion of The Network registration form.
- Include your small business certification information from either the U.S. Federal Government's System for Award Management (SAM) or the California Department of General Services.
What is The Network?
The Network is the Water Authority’s collaborative, online vendor registration, solicitation, and notification system. Registration is for both small and large businesses. The system is FREE of charge. To register, visit: www.govbids.com/scripts/TheNetwork/public/info/regoptions.asp. To learn how to register with The Network, please access the free training here.
What are SCOOP firms?
SCOOP firms are:
1) Firms that meet the size standards or have been certified as small businesses by the U.S. Federal Government's system for Award Management (SAM), Department of General Services (DGS), Caltrans, or any other public agency using the size standards specified in 13 CFR 121;
2) Registered in The Network
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