Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if the proposed improvements to my property are outside the Water Authority right-of-way?
The property owner can contact the Right of Way section and request that the right-of-way be staked. Please call the Right of Way Property Management Supervisor at (858)-522-6915.
Where is the Water Authority’s’ easement over my property?
In most areas, Records of Survey delineating existing Water Authority right-of-ways have been completed and filed with the San Diego County Recorders’ office. Please call Right of Way Property Management Supervisor at (858)-522-6915.
May I have someone represent me during negotiations?
Yes. If you would like to have an attorney or anyone else represent you during negotiations, please inform the Water Authority in writing of your desire. However, the Water Authority is not required to pay the cost of any such representation.
What if I refuse to sell my property to the Water Authority?
The Water Authority will make every effort to acquire the property by negotiated settlement with the owner. However, if the Water Authority and the property owner cannot agree on a sale, the Water Authority may consider the use of eminent domain or initiate legal proceedings in order to gain possession of the property. Compensation will then be determined by the court.
What if I disagree with the value the Water Authority is offering for my property?
Offers by the Water Authority are based on fair market appraisals completed by independent appraisers. Property owners are welcome to provide data and input to both the appraiser and to the Water Authority representative during negotiations. Property owners may obtain their own appraisals to help determine value.
How does the Water Authority acquire property?
The Water Authority acquires both fee and easement interests in property for its projects. If all or a portion of your property is required for a Water Authority project, the Water Authority will hire an appraiser to determine the value of that area. A representative from the Water Authority will then contact you and present an offer to purchase the necessary property.
The Water Authority easement is overgrown with dry brush near my house who do I contact?
Vegetation management and weed abatement is the responsibility of the property owner.
The Water Authority facility near my house has been tagged with graffiti or vandalized who do I contact?
Please call the Right of Way Property Manager Supervisor at (858) 522-6915.
Trash has been dumped on the Water Authority access road/easement, who can I contact?
Trash dumped on the easement is a trespass issue that resides with the property owner. When owners have trespass issues like trash dumping or unauthorized entrance, the Water Authority attempts to work with the owner for reasonable solutions that will meet both the owner’s and Water Authority needs; however, removal of the trash is the property owner’s responsibility. Please call the Right of Way Property Manager Supervisor at (858) 522-6915.
Why do you need access to my property?
Why do I need a permit to do something within the easement on my property?
The Water Authority has the right to require a permit by virtue of the County Water Authority Act. A permit ensures that the proposed use does not interfere with the operation and maintenance of the pipelines and the inspection of the easement. A permit documents approved uses of the owner for improvements allowed by the Water Authority within the easement. A permit is mutually beneficial because it provides a detailed description of what has been allowed and the conditions under which the improvements may remain or may need to be removed. The permit process is further described in Chapter 7 of the Water Authority’s Administrative Code.
How does the Water Authority manage the easement?
The Water Authority staff responsible for managing the easement considers the property rights reserved to the owner and the rights granted to the Water Authority. These rights are all specified in the recorded grant of easement. In order to complement the easement document, the Water Authority adopted Chapter 7.00 of its Administrative Code to establish consistent regulations, policies, and procedures for the protection and preservation of the easement.
What is an easement?
An easement is a right to use property for a specific purpose. In the case of Water Authority easements, the Water Authority has purchased the right to occupy the easement area for the purpose of patrolling, constructing, maintaining and repairing its pipelines and other facilities in the easement area. The easement also allows the Water Authority to limit activities within the easement that conflict with its use.
How much water is in an acre-foot?
Large amounts of water are measured by the acre-foot. One acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons, or enough water to cover one acre to a depth of one foot. An acre-foot can supply the average household needs of two four-person families for one year.
Who serves on the Water Authority Board of Directors? Are they elected or appointed?
The Water Authority's board of directors consists of at least one representative from each of its 24 member agencies. The representative is appointed by the member agency, with the consent and approval of that member agency. A member of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors also serves as a representative to the Water Authority Board.
What is the relationship between the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies?
The Water Authority is a water wholesaler that purchases and imports water from various sources and sells the water to its 24 retail member agencies in San Diego County. These member agencies are your water provider, supplying you with the treated (drinking) water in your residential or commercial area, sending you your monthly water bill, monitoring water leaks, and providing you with customer service relating to water issues.
Where does San Diego County's water come from?
Today, up to 80 percent of the region's water is imported from the Colorado River and Northern California. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) is the Water Authority’s largest supplier, providing more than half of the water used in the region in fiscal year 2010. Since 2003, the Water Authority has received a growing percentage of its water supply from its long-term water conservation and transfer agreement with the Imperial Irrigation District and conserved water from projects that lined portions of the All-American and Coachella canals in Imperial Valley. The remaining water comes from local supply sources including groundwater, local surface water, recycled water, and conservation.
What is the San Diego County Water Authority?
The Water Authority is an independent public agency that serves as San Diego County's regional water wholesaler. It is not part of either the city or county of San Diego governments. The mission of the San Diego County Water Authority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of water to its 24 member agencies serving the San Diego region's $218 billion economy and its 3.2 million residents.
The Water Authority was formed in 1944 for the purpose of importing water to the region. At the time of its formation, the Water Authority supplemented local supplies with imported water. The Water Authority is a public agency under the state County Water Authority Act Chapter 45, section 2.
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