Securing Our Water Future
As Southern California’s water supply continues to be subject to drought and climate change, West Basin remains committed to its mission to provide a reliable supply of high-quality water to its communities. This year, West Basin Municipal Water District is celebrating 75 years of delivering water reliability. What started in 1947 with the formation of the District, continues to this day with programs advancing water use efficiency (to reach our current reduction goal of %15 or approx. 20 gallons less per day), recycled water to preserve our drinking water, and education to help our communities be good water stewards. Please read on to learn about West Basin’s beginnings and valuable present-day resources to secure our water future.
NEW GENERAL MANAGER ANNOUNCEMENT
The West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) Board of Directors announced that Gregory R. Reed, P.E. (Photo, third from left) will serve as the new General Manager of the District. Bringing more than 30 years of public service and executive leadership in the water industry, Reed will support West Basin in achieving its water resiliency goals.
Prior to joining the District, Reed served as the Assistant Director of Water Engineering and Technical Services for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). He was responsible for guiding and supervising the long-range planning and development of water system infrastructure renewal and expansion projects including the over $400 million annual capital improvement program and over 140 projects.
In addition, Reed was the group manager for the LADWP Water Rights and Groundwater Management Group and served on various groundwater agency committees such as West Basin Water Association/Water Rights Panel, the Upper Los Angeles River Area Administrative Committee and the early formation of the Santa Monica Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency.
Reed is a lifetime member of the Los Angeles Council of Black Professional Engineers and played a key role in employee recruitment, training and retention for the agency’s workforce diversity, equity and inclusion program.
“I am honored to support the District with my experience in water resources strategic planning and project development to ensure a reliable water supply for the West Basin service area,” said Reed. “I am looking forward to working with the Board of Directors, District staff and regional partners to collaborate and continue the agency’s commendable legacy of leadership and innovation.”
NEWEST RECYCLED WATER CUSTOMER
Topgolf Entertainment Group is preparing to open its first South Bay Cities venue this spring in the City of El Segundo. The three-floor facility will boast 102 hitting bays, a rooftop terrace with a signature menu and a 10-hole course challenging all golf skill levels. In addition to serving as a recreation destination across Los Angeles County, the site will also serve as a model of environmental sustainability in water conservation. The golf course and ornamental landscaping with be irrigated with recycled water produced next door by the West Basin Municipal Water District. Two decorative lakes will also be filled with the same recycled water, with additional water savings coming from the artificial turf installation on the driving range. An upgraded recycled water irrigation system has been installed and was connected to the recycled water pipeline in March. In total, the 26-acre site is projected to save over 19 million gallons of drinking water annually, benefitting the region as the state of California enters the third year of this severe drought.
West Basin Commemorates 75 Years of Water Reliability
West Basin Municipal Water District is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its formation this year. The District was formed in 1947 to make local water supplies more reliable by identifying new water sources for the region and protecting its groundwater resources.
In 1945, the West Basin Groundwater Conservation Group was formed by representatives from cities, private water utilities and local industries. It released a report this same year showing that much more water was being withdrawn from the West Coast Groundwater Basin than was being replenished. Additional reports suggested use of Colorado River water as supplemental supply. But first, the public would have to vote and support by a majority the formation of a municipal water district, which could then become a member of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. It took two attempts in 1947 for the measure to pass, with the successful effort to form the West Basin Municipal Water District passing by an 8:1 margin on November 25, 1947.
Today, West Basin remains committed to its mission to “provide a safe and reliable supply of high-quality water to the communities it serves.” West Basin will commemorate key moments in its history throughout the year on its website and social media. Please visit the West Basin History page and connect with us on our social media platforms.
New! Increased Grass Replacement Rebates for Eligible Residents and Public Agencies
As the State’s water supplies continue to be challenged by drought, West Basin has expanded its current Grass Replacement Program that offers rebates starting at $3 per square foot of grass replaced to now include increased incentives and landscape design assistance for service area public agencies and residents in priority neighborhoods.
The Grass Replacement+
The Grass Replacement+ program offers free custom landscape design, a free drought-tolerant tree and additional assistance in applying for an increased rebate of $5 for per square foot of grass replaced with a drought-friendly garden. Landscape design and tree selection is provided with support of TreePeople, an environmental organization that promotes sustainable urban ecosystems in greater Los Angeles. This program is designed for residents in priority neighborhoods in the West Basin service area. For more information on eligibility requirements, please visit: www.westbasin.org/grass-plus.
Public Agency Grass Replacement
In addition to residential landscapes, there are plenty of opportunities for grass replacement on publicly-owned spaces in the West Basin service area. Public agencies (i.e. city-owned parks and schools, special districts, etc.) can now take advantage of free landscape design and application assistance for an increased rebate starting at $4 per square foot of grass removed. Eligible projects can range between 250 square feet up to 200,000 square feet for a maximum of a $800,000 rebate value. For more information public agency rebate eligibility, please visit: www.westbasin.org/public-agency-grass.
West Basin Applauds Conservation Efforts; Urges Continued Reductions as Drought Persists in 2022
West Basin reported that water users in the service area collectively reduced water use by approximately 6% in February 2022 compared to February 2020. Despite a record dry January and February, West Basin water users achieved a higher reduction in water use than many areas of southern California and the state. Overall, the cumulative reduction in water use in the West Basin service area for the first eight months of the fiscal year (July 2021-February 2022) stands at 5%. Individual retail supplier conservation results are summarized in the table below.
*Numbers reflect percentage difference compared to the same month(s) in 2020.
*Results for the City of El Segundo show higher than average potable production and lower than average recycled water use related to impacts from the Hyperion Plant incident.
Last year, Governor Newsom instituted a 15% voluntary reduction in water use from 2020 levels. So far, the state as a whole has largely failed to meet the Governor’s conservation goals, achieving only 5.8% statewide conservation to date.
While much of California enjoyed record levels of rain and snow in December, the first three months of 2022 have been historically dry. The lack of precipitation makes it nearly a certainty the state will remain in a drought for at least another year, according to industry projections.
West Basin congratulates its communities for how much they were able to save, and encourages everyone to keep it up into the warmer spring and summer months.
Outdoor water conservation offers the biggest opportunity for residents to further reduce their water use. West Basin offers a number of programs, including those that replace grass lawns with drought-friendly landscapes, that are tailor-made for helping residents and businesses become more water efficient. To learn more about West Basin’s programs, visit www.westbasin.org/conservation.
To view updates on the ongoing statewide drought, and how it affects our region, visit www.westbasin.org/drought.
Spotlight on the Juanita Millender-McDonald Carson Regional Water Recycling Plant Expansion
A $21 million construction project to rehabilitate and replace infrastructure at the five-acre West Basin satellite on Wilmington Avenue in Carson is underway. About eight million gallons per day (MGD) of disinfected tertiary treated recycled water (also known as recycled water for irrigation purposes) is pumped from the West Basin Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo through the distribution system to the Carson regional plant for further treatment for industrial boiler-feed and cooling tower applications.
A major component of the Phase II Expansion Project includes a new custom engineered microfiltration (MF) system which is unique in that it can fit six different, prequalified microfiltration membrane modules. The six MGD custom MF system will serve as pretreatment to reverse osmosis allowing West Basin to ultimately produce industrial boiler feed water for the neighboring Marathon oil refinery.
Other elements of the expansion project will include new chemical storage (for Sodium Hydroxide & Citric Acid), a new potable water backup system, new 600kw emergency generator for key operating equipment, and a new carbon dioxide system to improve processes for the cooling tower applications.
Currently in progress is construction of two new underground tanks (pictured), laying yard piping, and relocating the chemical system.
Funding for this expansion project has been provided in full or in part by the Proposition1 – the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund through an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board. The revolving fund is capitalized through a variety of funding sources, including grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state bond proceeds.
To date, West Basin has produced approximately 30 billion gallons of fit-for-purpose recycled water at the Carson plant since the year 2000.
2022 “Water Lab” Community Education Schedule Announced
West Basin’s free public water education calendar of Water Lab opportunities is now online. Learning opportunities include Know Your H2O classes, water recycling facility tours, and West Basin Chats. Participants will be able to explore where water comes from, receive updates on the drought, discover the different types of water produced at the District’s water recycling facility in El Segundo, and get their water-saving program questions personally answered by West Basin representatives.
The next Water Lab opportunities are:
- Know Your H2O Class: Save Water, Save California – Wednesday, May 18, 2022 @ 6:00 PM
- West Basin Chat: Grass Replacement – Wednesday, May 25, 2022 @ 6:00 PM
- Water Recycling Tour of the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility – Saturday, June 11, 2022 @ 10:00 AM
For more information on the Water Lab program and to sign up for upcoming opportunities please visit: www.westbasin.org/free-water-programs.