Convention Center Phase III Expansion and Expansion Hotel Project's Water Supply Assessment Questions

April 30, 2012

At the April 25, 2012 Natural Resources and Culture Committee meeting, staff presented the Convention Center Phase III Expansion and Expansion Hotel Project's Water Supply Assessment (WSA). The Committee voted unanimously to forward the WSA to Council for consideration with the condition that questions raised at the meeting are answered by staff prior to the Council hearing. Additionally, the committee indicated a desire for project managers and representatives from the County Water Authority to be present at the City Council hearing. The list of questions below should be answered prior to this item being heard at Council.


Questions from Chair Alvarez:

1. Are water supply assessments mainly formulaic? For example, for this project was the existing convention center water supply needs used and then extrapolated to the new footprint? Was the same method used for the landscaping and the hotel?

2. Was this project accounted for in the 2010 Urban Water Management Plan?

3. Is it a correct assumption that in order to comply with SB 610 and SB 221, all of the water supply for the Convention Center Phase III Expansion project (109 acre feet per year) will be accounted for through the Accelerated Forecasted Growth Demand (AFGD) increment of the San Diego County Water Authority's 2010 Urban Water Management Plan?

4. Is there additional water projected to allow for some sort of cushion in case there is growth?

5. How big is the extra pool of water and what regulates priority/first access to it? Which projects receive priority for the water that is in that pool and why? How much of it is there?

6. How much of that pool will this project utilize?

7. It was stated by City staff that the ability to use the water shown in the AFGD demand forecast, and lock in the allocation is based on a "first-come, first served" policy. Please provide a copy of the SDCWA "first-come, first-served" policy documents for the AFGD including when the policy was adopted by the SDCW A board.

8. Can the AFGD amounts only be utilized for residential development? Are commercial, industrial and other types of development eligible? Is this determined by statute or a regulatory agency?

9. Has the 2,224 acre feet in the AFGD changed since 2010 or does it represent the current number? Does it take into account the 109 AFY for this project? Additionally, please provide a copy of the SANDAG documents showing the projections they used to help determine the acre-feet amounts shown in the AFG Water Demand Forecast. Specifically, the AFG shows 2,224 acre-feet in 2015; 4,421 acre-feet in 2020; 6,605 in 2025; 8,776 in 2030 and 10,948 in 2035.

10. Does the amount of AFGD used represent only City projects or does it take into account projects across the County?

11. There are probably going to be other projects that come forward that may need to access the AFGD water. What happens if the 2,224 AFGD is exceeded at some point? Is there a penalty fee or would a project simply not be able to move forward because of a lack of water available in the AFGD? Please identify any development projects, both inside and outside the City that have asked or that you believe will be asking to use water from the SDCWA AFGD increment in order to comply with SB 610 and SB 221. Include the amount of water (in acre feet) needed for each project.

12. Will efficiencies be improved in the existing parts of the facility in order to cut down on the amount of water needed for the entire facility?

13. Regarding the allocation for landscaping, is this the maximum amount that the project is expected to need?

14. Are potential efficiencies for the landscaping and irrigation system being considered for inclusion in this project? If so, what are they? What savings can we expect?

Questions from Councilmember Lightner:

1. Did the public utilities department perform water supply assessments for other large projects, such as Quarry Falls and UTC?

2. It appears the City is the governing body that performs the WSA. Does the City also control and certify the Convention Center Phase III Expansion and Hotel Expansion environmental impact report (EIR)?

3. Will the City Council have to approve the EIR?

4. The WSA assumes a certai:o configuration for the convention center expansion and a hotel as well. Assuming there will be project alternatives in the EIR, will WSA's be prepared for all of the project alternatives?

5. What happens if a project alternative is approved that would use more water than documented in this WSA?

6. Why was the hotel included in the WSA?

7. Did either of the convention center's previous phases and/or the Hilton Bayfront Hotel require or produce a WSA?

8. What was the occupancy rate of the hotel and capacity use of the convention center when developing estimates for the existing facilities? Was PUD's linear assumption of water use for the existing facilities reasonable? Why or why not?

9. Please explain the following, as it relates to the AFGD:
a. Will the AFGD be modified in future urban water management plans to account for the 109 acre feet taken by this project or other water from the AFGD used for other projects?
b. Can water agencies in the CW A produce their own AFGD? Do we anticipate others producing AFGD estimates in future urban water management plans?
c. Who tracks water available through the AFGD? And where does it show up?How do we know that this 109 acre feet is going to be accounted for?
d. Has the 2,224 AFGD available for the 2015-2020 timeframe been utilized for other projects? If so, what is the current AFGD available and does that number include the 109 acre feet for this project

e. Are there limitations on how we are to be using this AFGD water from 2015 -2020? Or the additional AFGD 5-year time frames?
f. Are we allowed to use the 2015-2020 AFGD up by the end of this year? If AFGD water is completely used up, what scenarios are available to ensure water is available for other large projects in the future?
g. Are the other members agencies in the CW A promised a certain amount? Or are all member agencies on a first come, first serve basis?
h. Regarding the existing City commitments of 860 acre feet from the AFGD: Have these projects been processed by the city?

i. When a water supply assessment is prepared and the project is going to require some AFGD water; is a request immediately relayed to the CW A that there is a desire to use this water?

Questions from Councilmember Zapf:

1. Does the AFGD take into account efficiencies that are starting to save more water?

2. Will the Convention Center Phase III Expansion landscaping incorporate the use of native plants and plants that do not require a lot of water? Will there be an ability to reclaim water for the landscaping?

3. Are any landscape efficiencies included in the WSA?

4. Is it possible for the entire Convention Center facility, including the proposed expansion, to be able to use onsite reclaimed water for landscaping and also have as little water intensive landscaping as possible?

5. Have phase one or two been retrofitted for water efficiency- either landscaping or • efficiencies internally in the infrastructure of the building?

Thank you for your timely consideration of the above questions.

Convention Center Phase III Expansion and Expansion Hotel Project's Water Supply Assessment Questions
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