West Basin Director Gloria D. Gray Re-Elected as Metropolitan Board Chair
In October, West Basin President Gloria D. Gray was re-elected to serve as chairwoman of the MWD board for another two-year term.
“I am deeply honored to be voted chairwoman once again, and to provide continuity as Metropolitan navigates a time unlike any other,” said Gray in a West Basin statement. “I am proud to represent West Basin and Metropolitan to advance our common commitments to ensuring reliable, high quality water supplies, and prepare for the needs of tomorrow today.”
Starting Jan. 1, 2021, Gray will begin her second, two-year term as the 19th MWD board chair. She will continue leading the regional water importer and wholesaler for nearly 19 million people in six counties in Southern California. As the head of the 38-member board, Gray will represent district policies and programs at national, state and local levels. She also will preside over monthly meetings of the board and its executive committee. In addition, she will appoint all members of the MWD’s nine standing committees, as well as the leaders of any special committees or task forces.
Gray was first elected as MWD board chair in 2018, and has served as the West Basin representative on the MWD board since 2009. At West Basin, Gray was elected to its Board of Directors in 2006. She is the first African-American woman to hold the Metropolitan chair position, and is the first African-American woman elected to the West Basin board.
Documentary Highlights 25 Years of Recycled Water Innovation
A newly released video documents the first quarter century of the West Basin recycled water program. Produced by documentary filmmaker Jim Thebaut’s The Chronicles Group, the 10-minute piece explores recycled water as a highly reliable and valuable source of water in coastal Los Angeles County.
Since it began producing recycled water in 1995, West Basin has become one of the nation’s leaders in recycled water program development. With four state-of-the-art treatment facilities, including the flagship Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) in El Segundo, West Basin has produced more than 225 billion gallons of recycled water in the last 25 years.
The video, A Legacy of Innovation: Spotlight on West Basin Municipal Water District Water Recycling, includes interviews with numerous elected officials and other water industry leaders, including West Basin board members, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) General Manager Jeff Kightlinger, and West Basin General Manager Patrick Sheilds.
“Recycled water is a huge benefit to the community,” said Gloria D. Gray, President of the West Basin Board of Directors and Chairwoman of the Metropolitan Board of Directors. “We’re here to continue producing recycled water because water is too important…water is life.”
The collaboration with The Chronicles Group, whose work includes “California’s Watershed,” “Beyond the Brink: A Matter of National Security,” and “Running Dry,” includes highlights from West Basin’s grand re-opening ceremony of the ECLWRF Water Education Center in 2019, after a multi-year renovation.
More information about the West Basin recycled water program, including capital projects, and the recycled water process, is available at www.westbasin.org/water-supplies/recycled-water.
Donald L. Dear and Desi Alvarez Elected to West Basin Board of Directors
Donald L. Dear and Desi Alvarez were formally sworn in to four-year terms on the West Basin Board of Directors. Both directors took their oath of office on Dec. 4 and will join their board colleagues in governing the policy and strategic planning decisions for the District.
Director Dear won his November re-election campaign to continue representing Division V, which includes the cities of Gardena, Hawthorne, Lawndale, and the unincorporated Los Angeles County areas of El Camino Village. He is now the longest serving member on the board, having represented Division V for the past 20 years. This will be his sixth term on the Board.
Director Alvarez won his first term to the West Basin Division III seat, where he will serve as the representative for the cities of Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and a portion of Torrance. He has 30 years of water management experience that includes time spent in both the public and private sectors.
Director Alvarez replaced long-time West Basin Board Member Carol C. Kwan, who served the District for nearly 25 years.
District Receives Recognition as Utility of the Future Today
This fall, West Basin earned four new awards for its water recycling, conservation and business practices, highlighting the District’s ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of local communities during challenging times. The District’s efforts were recognized by various industry associations, demonstrating a dedicated and successful approach to delivering on its mission of providing reliable water to the region.
Most notably, West Basin earned national recognition as a Utility of the Future Today for the District’s water reuse program. The designation, given jointly by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), Water Research Foundation and WateReuse Association, is reserved for forward-thinking, innovative water utilities that are engaged in advancing resource efficiency and recovery, developing proactive relationships with stakeholders, and establishing resilient, sustainable, and livable communities. Read more about the Utility of the Future Today announcement online.
The District also received an award from Engineering News Record in the California “water/environment” category for a recycled water project involving a new pump station and installation of a three-megawatt emergency generator located at Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, which provides source water to the District’s Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo. The project was a multifaceted undertaking that required considerable planning and collaboration.
West Basin’s Change & Save program, primarily intended for disadvantaged communities, earned the 2020 Hermes Gold Award for best “Integrated Marketing Campaign” from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.
Finally, the National Procurement Institute awarded the District for its excellence in the business practice of procuring, or sourcing, goods and services that are important to the district and the enterprises that serve West Basin.
A District employee was also recognized for making contributions to the water industry. Uzi Daniel, the District’s Operations Manager, earned the Don Kaiser Volunteer of the Year award from the American Water Works Association California-Nevada section for her exemplary volunteer work with the Section during the previous year.
In total, West Basin has received six awards to date for work and projects completed in 2019 and 2020. For the full list visit: www.westbasin.org/news/awards/.
Save Money This Holiday Season with Conservation Rebates
West Basin offers a variety of rebates that are meant to help families and businesses save water and reduce water bills. Put money back into your pocket this holiday season by taking advantage of one or more of the rebates that West Basin provides.
To view available rebates and to estimate the rebate amounts you qualify for, please visit: www.socalwatersmart.com.
High-Efficiency Clothes Washers
West Basin offers rebates of up to $500 for High-Efficiency Clothes Washers (HECW), subject to eligibility. HECWs use 55% less water than traditional clothes washers and also use less energy, meaning you will save money on both your energy and water bills. More than 100 HECW models are currently eligible for the rebate.
Late fall is still a great time to begin garden transformation projects, when new drought-tolerant plants can grow and become established during the cooler and wetter fall and winter months.
West Basin offers $3 per square foot of grass removed, up to a maximum rebate amount of $15,000. Replacing a grass lawn with a drought-tolerant or native plant landscape can reduce outdoor water use by 50% or more.
Smart Irrigation Controllers
Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers utilize automated smart technology to optimize the irrigation of your landscape, potentially saving thousands of gallons of water per year. Water savings are especially high during rainy periods. Rebates start at $85/controller and go up to $160 in some areas.
Rotating sprinkler nozzles direct water flow to your landscape uniformly and use 20% less water than conventional spray heads. Rebates are $2/nozzle.
For questions about conservation rebates, please contact Gus Meza, Sr. Water Policy & Resources Analyst, at email@example.com or 213-500-6658.
Board and Committee Meeting Recordings Now Online
The Board of Directors voted unanimously in September to begin video recording its board and committee meetings and making them available online. This action is in addition to audio recordings the District has historically made publicly available.
The District will continue to live-stream its board and committee meetings using the GoToMeeting platform, and video recordings will now be accessible at the following two locations:
The District is still in the process of determining longer-term recommendations for recording and making meeting video available to the public. A report on the various considerations and required logistics is expected soon.
For a schedule and archive of board meeting agendas and to view video recordings of past meetings, please visit: www.westbasin.org/board-agendas.
SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park Now Using West Basin’s Recycled Water
West Basin construction crews recently put the finishing touches on a major recycled water project at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, the new landmark sports and entertainment complex in the City of Inglewood. The project was built to deliver approximately 26 million gallons of recycled water annually to the state-of-the-art stadium complex and surrounding areas, which serves as the home of the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers teams of the National Football League.
A Project Page is available online that describes the SoFi Stadium recycled water project in greater detail.
The District will produce and distribute recycled water for landscape irrigation, maintenance, and aesthetic purposes, including Lake Park and the many greenscapes surrounding the stadium.
Lake Park, the central water feature that enhances the striking design of SoFi Stadium, consists of an upper and lower lake bridged by cascading waterfalls with a total volume of approximately 16 million gallons. The nearly six acres of lake will utilize approximately 35 acre-feet per year (AFY) of recycled water, the equivalent of 11.4 million gallons each year. One acre-foot of water is equal to about 326,000 gallons, which is enough water to cover an acre of land, about the size of SoFi Stadium’s football field, one foot deep.
Other parts of the property making use of recycled water include greenery along the street medians and parking lots (30 AFY); and landscaped areas surrounding the stadium (10 AFY).
Outside of the stadium’s footprint, West Basin recycled water will also be delivered to the Hollywood Park Casino and the Inglewood Transit Center, with additional supplies possibly being made available for future retail development.
“SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park is a great example of public-private partnership,” said Gloria D. Gray, President of the West Basin Board. “Together we are able to help reduce the use of our precious drinking water sources by investing in a recycled water system that is world class.”
President Gray, Division II, represents the city of Inglewood.
For more information, please visit the SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park Recycled Water Project Page.
Education Programs Encourage and Support Students of All Ages
West Basin continues to offer a variety of fun and educational opportunities that cater to the wide range of students within its service area.
Water Industry Career Day Series
In October, West Basin and the Water Replenishment District (WRD) teamed up to offer a virtual career day video series and panel. The free series culminated in a live panel on October 15, where approximately 100 participants had the opportunity to learn and ask questions about career paths, training programs, and other opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, with a special focus on jobs in the water industry. In total, students from more than 20 schools in the region viewed the workshop.
The live interactive panel was held via Zoom webinar and featured subject matter experts who spoke to students about careers in engineering, mapping technology (GIS), hydrogeology, and operations. Panelists also shared their experience working at West Basin and WRD.
Four pre-recorded video interviews were published prior to the live panel and are available for viewing online.
Virtual Field Trips
Since the beginning of the school year, more than 700 students have participated in one of the District’s virtual classroom field trips.
Field trips are available to public and private schools, and youth groups located in the West Basin service area. Participants virtually visit the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo and the Roundhouse Aquarium in Manhattan Beach where they learn about the water cycle, West Basin’s state-of-the-art water recycling process and water conservation efforts that protect local marine animals.
One teacher whose class recently attended a field trip had this to say:
“Please know how grateful I am for this incredible opportunity, especially during this very challenging time of distance learning. This was exactly what my students needed to get motivated in our new learning environment!”
Teachers and youth group leaders can still request field trips for Spring 2021. To make a reservation, please contact West Basin Education Coordinator Janel Ancayan at (310) 660-6253 or JanelA@westbasin.org.
Additional education programs will be starting up soon. Please visit the West Basin Education page for a full listing of available opportunities.
West Basin is hosting three additional “Know Your H2O” classes, as part of its Water Lab: A Digital Learning Experience winter session series of workshops.
On Jan. 13, learn about where your water comes from. Starting in the mountains of Northern California and the watershed of the Colorado River, drinking water makes an adventurous trip to arrive at the tap in your home.
On Feb. 6, take a peek behind the curtains of a world-class recycled water production facility during the District’s Water Recycling Facility Virtual Tour.
On March 10, learn about the region’s water supply diversity and how West Basin continues to invest in local water resources to ensure that reliable supplies are available for residents, businesses, and public spaces.
For information and to register, visit www.westabsin.org/water-lab.
Save the Date: Rain Barrel Home Delivery Program
Early next year, West Basin will begin offering free home delivery of rain barrels to qualifying residents in the District’s service area.
Rain barrels allow you to capture and store rainwater for irrigating your garden or landscape without having to use sprinklers.
The process for reserving a rain barrel will be extremely easy and will result in water savings being delivered directly to your doorstep!
Additional program details will be posted to the District website in January.