Padre Dam owns and maintains over 380 acres of land in order to house vital infrastructure like pipes, reservoirs and pump stations. This infrastructure and the land around it must be accessible in order to perform maintenance and repairs. The person responsible for managing property rights and access to District land is Jocker Alejandro, Padre Dam's Right of Way Agent.
The majority of Padre Dam's pipes run under public roads, which are available for District access. Some mains, however, must run under private property or property owned by another utility. In these cases, the District has an easement, which is the right to access the land for a specific purpose such as installing and maintaining a water main.
Jocker maintains extensive records detailing the size, location and other attributes of District-owned land and over 1,750 easements. This information is vital for the District's Operations staff, who needs to know what areas they can use to stage equipment and perform work. He also reviews plans for new building developments in order to ensure that they set aside enough easement space for the District to access pipes and infrastructure now and in the future.
"It benefits the whole community for us to have access to our pipes and facilities," said Jocker. "It's the only way to ensure that we can continue to provide safe and reliable services."
Jocker also works closely with District Engineers to coordinate access to land that is needed for new infrastructure, such as a new pump station or reservoir. Jocker is then responsible for researching potential locations and purchasing the land or acquiring an easement. This entails reviewing existing District property and working with property owners.
"Nothing new can be built if we don't have the land," said Jocker. "At the end of the project, it's such a great feeling to think, 'Wow, I contributed to this project that will provide a great public benefit.' It gives me a sense of satisfaction, like I did my part."
One of Jocker's favorite parts of his job is working with property owners involving District land or easements who reach out with questions. Jocker enjoys helping these customers find information and the answers they need. He also enjoys the variety of work he has the opportunity to perform at the District as the only Right of Way Agent.
When he's not working, Jocker enjoys doing photography and taking photos of San Diego. He also enjoys hip-hop and modern dance and performs regularly through the Mesa College dance program and a private studio. In order to stay safe during social distancing, he is currently getting his exercise by exploring the trails of San Diego with his newly adopted dog.