Lake Hodges reaches capacity and overflows dam

Lake Hodges overflowing.
Lake Hodges overflowing.

As a result of the recent storms, Lake Hodges Reservoir has reached capacity and has started spilling water over its dam. The last time Lake Hodges spilled over the dam was in 2005. Rains from November 2010 to date have created significant inflow to the lake and raised its level to the spillway elevation late last week.

Since November, approximately 20,000 acre feet of local surface water have poured into the reservoir from the nearly 250 square mile watershed that drains into the lake. An acre foot of water is enough water to serve the needs of two typical households for a one year period.

SFID and SDWD are the only agencies currently able to use Lake Hodges water as a source of water supply. At this time, the district is treating 100 percent Lake Hodges water at the R.E.Badger Filtration Plant, capturing as much of the local runoff as possible to meet consumer water demand for this time of year. Since November 2010, SFID has delivered 1,600 acre feet of water from Lake Hodges for treatment and distribution to the community.

Lake Hodges Reservoir is owned and managed by the City of San Diego. SFID along with the San Dieguito Water District (SDWD) have rights to local water captured in the reservoir. The City of San Diego does not currently draw any water from the lake. Once the San Diego County Water Authority’s (SDCWA) Lake Hodges Pumped Storage Project is completed this year, the City of San Diego will have access to its share of local water.

The SDCWA Lake Hodges Pumped Storage Project, when completed, will connect Lake Hodges to the Olivenhain Reservoir. The connection will provide the ability to transfer and store up to 20,000 acre-feet of imported water in Hodges Reservoir for emergency use. In addition, the project provides facilities that will allow water to be transferred from Lake Hodges to the Olivenhain Reservoir and ultimately into the regional aqueduct system. This project will significantly improve the management of local water resources, increase regional emergency supplies, and provide enhanced operational tools for the region.

For more information about Santa Fe Irrigation District, visit, or for additional information about the R.E. Badger Filtration Plant, visit

To learn about the Lake Hodges Pumped Storage Project, visit the SDCWA’s website at

To find out the current Lake Hodges reservoir level, visit the City of San Diego’s website at

— Santa Fe Irrigation District



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