Dedication day for San Vicente Dam raise project
The San Vicente Dam in Lakeside took three years to complete and after raising it by 117 feet. The $416 million raising of the reservoir to 337 feet was many more years in the making during San Diego’s most prolonged drought in decades. But during other drought periods, there was always concern about San Diego’s storage capacity.
“As I move around the state, there are some who are waiting for the state to help them, storage – for the state, for other things – this was done on local initiative with local resources, not waiting for a mandate, not waiting for someone else to pay for it,” said Secretary John Laird of the California Natural Resources Agency.
And there’s always been concern about water supply security. The San Vicente Dam raise project, as water officials refer to it, is the largest piece and final major element of the County Water Authority’s $1.5 billion Emergency Storage Project: a system of reservoirs, interconnected pipelines and pumping stations to ensure a 6 month supply of water if our imported water is interrupted by an earthquake or other major disaster. The reservoir’s capacity has gone from 90,000 acre feet when the dam was built in 1943 to 242,000 acre feet. Even the vintage aircraft noticed the increase is enough to serve more than 300,000 homes for a year.
“It’s particularly important not only for our residents, but our small businesses that need a reliable water supply,” stated Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
The construction of a new marina and boat launching ramps continues, allowing twice as many lanes, longer ramps and more parking.