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The original item was published from 1/22/2024 9:05:03 AM to 1/30/2024 8:25:47 AM.

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Posted on: January 22, 2024

[ARCHIVED] SWA initiates controlled release of water from Loveland Reservoir

Open valve with water flowing out of Loveland Reservoir

Earlier today, Sweetwater Authority (Authority) began a controlled release of water from Loveland Reservoir in Alpine, CA. Current storms are expected to provide significant runoff into the near-full reservoir, minimizing available storage capacity and increasing the likelihood of an uncontrolled spill over the overflow spillway in the near future. The emergency release will bring the reservoir’s available capacity up to 45 percent from the current 16 percent, reducing risk of flooding in areas downstream during both the current storm and any subsequent winter rain events. 

Water that is released from Loveland Reservoir travels through the Sweetwater River channel and is eventually captured in Sweetwater Reservoir, where it can be treated and distributed to Authority customers. The Authority expects Sweetwater Reservoir will capture an additional year of low-cost water as a result of this release, saving Authority customers approximately $9 million by reducing the need to buy more expensive imported water from San Diego County Water Authority. After the release, there will be nearly two years’ supply of readily-available water in Sweetwater Reservoir. 

The Authority conducts controlled water releases periodically as a standard operation. Before, during and after the release, the Authority’s environmental staff and engineers monitor ecological conditions, ensuring compliance with environmental standards. The Loveland Reservoir Recreation Program, located on the eastern portion of the reservoir, will remain open and accessible during the controlled release for various activities, such as fishing, hiking, birdwatching, and tai chi.

For more information on the Authority’s water resources, visit

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