Improving Water and Energy Reliability at Lake Hodges in Escondido, California.
In recent years, the San Diego County Water Authority has imported more than 80 percent of the county’s water supplies. The Lake Hodges Pumped Storage Facilities play a vital role in helping keep water flowing throughout the
region if an earthquake or drought were to cut off imported water deliveries.
The Lake Hodges facilities connect the Hodges Reservoir with the Water Authority’s Olivenhain Reservoir located less than one mile uphill from Lake Hodges. The connection provides the ability to store up to 20,000 acre-feet of water at Hodges Reservoir for emergency use. An acre-foot of water is equal to about 326,000 gallons, or enough water to supply the household needs of two typical families for a year. The connection makes water from Hodges Reservoir available for use throughout the region. Previously, it only served two local water districts.
The Lake Hodges facilities ensure the ability to add imported water during dry seasons to maintain minimum water levels in Hodges Reservoir. They also provide the ability to move captured runoff for regional benefit during rainy seasons. As water flows down the pipeline from Olivenhain Reservoir into Hodges Reservoir, it generates up to 40 megawatts of energy on demand, helping to manage temporary peak electrical demands or unplanned outages. The facilities also create revenue and help offset operating costs.