Water Supply


Padre Dam imports 100% of our drinking water supply from the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA)

How Our Water Is Imported

Our water supply depends on a 1922 agreement between seven western states as well as infrastructure (i.e. aqueducts, pipelines) operated by federal, state and regional agencies. The water Padre Dam imports comes from the State Water Project and the Colorado River Aqueduct. Water travels through over 600 miles of aqueducts and 1,100 miles of pipeline to get to San Diego County.

Padre Dam has a large infrastructure of its own to provide water to your home, including over 300 miles of water mains - enough pipe to stretch from San Diego to Phoenix.

Supply Diversification

The San Diego County Water Authority was 95% reliant on MWD water during the 1990s. This made San Diego County extremely vulnerable to water supply shortages. At that time, SDCWA launched a plan to develop a diversified portfolio of water resources by 2020. The chart below shows where we were in 1991 and the goal for supply diversification in 2020.


Recycled water is an important part of San Diego County's future water supply. Every drop of recycled water used for non-potable use saves drinking water sources. Padre Dam produces two million gallons of recycled water a day at our Water Recycling Facility. Our recycled water provides irrigation water throughout Santee and provides the water that fills Santee Lakes.