Sweetwater Reservoir, seen to the right. Photo credit: RightCowLeftCoast, via Wikimedia Commons.

Sweetwater Authority began a controlled transfer of water between its two reservoirs Monday to bolster a low water level in one of them.

Water that leaves Loveland Reservoir south of Alpine will be transferred over the next several weeks through the Sweetwater River channel and captured at Sweetwater Reservoir where it can be treated and distributed to authority customers at a lower cost than importing water. Loveland Reservoir is more than 70% full, while Sweetwater Reservoir’s level is at 20% of capacity.

“This transfer is an example of how the authority is maximizing value for our ratepayers,” said Hector Martinez, chair of the authority’s board. “Utilizing water from Loveland Reservoir and taking advantage of our assets helps us to offset the cost of purchasing water. This is a priority for our board, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The authority typically conducts controlled transfers periodically when a variety of conditions are met and coordinates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that environmental needs are met.

A similar water transfer was last conducted in February 2019.

Sweetwater scientists and engineers will monitor the water transfer and make modifications as necessary depending on weather conditions. The authority worked with landowners and businesses near the Sweetwater River channel, notifying them by mail and phone prior to the start of the transfer to lessen any potential impacts.

Sweetwater Authority is a public water agency providing water to National City, Chula Vista, and Bonita.

— City News Service

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