President’s Message

A Message From West Basin President Donald L. Dear

After celebrating 70 years as a water district, from 1947-2017, I am honored to serve as Board President in 2018.  The District has an exciting year ahead, one filled with reinvestment in our infrastructure and advancement of our programs.

West Basin established itself as a leader in the water reuse industry in the 1990s with its water recycling program. This year, we will continue our progress as the District’s Capital Improvement Program achieves major milestones. A new pump station and power generator at the City of Los Angeles’ Hyperion Water Treatment Facility – the source of water to the West Basin Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) in El Segundo, Calif. – and concurrent improvements at the ECLWRF will allow the District to increase recycled water production capacity to 70 million gallons per day (MGD) as downstream demand continues to grow. In 2017 alone, we expanded our recycled water connections to include six new parks and corporate facilities.  These new customers and connections resulted in an estimated total of 110 acre-feet of recycled water use per year. With more businesses, cities and community organizations recognizing the benefits of conserving drinking water and using recycled water for purposes such as landscaping and irrigation systems, we expect more connections in the years ahead. In addition, the District looks forward to announcing a new pilot with the City of Los Angeles to improve Hyperion water quality and increase recycled water production in the region. These upgrades and partnerships are a critical component of the District’s expanding recycled water program to provide customers and communities with a sustainable, locally controlled supply of water.

The District also continues on its path to diversifying its water supply for greater reliability by examining both the potential for desalinating ocean water and introducing purified wastewater directly into a potable water supply distribution system.  After nearly 17 years of planning, research studies and pilot operations, West Basin will release its draft environmental impact report (EIR) on a potential ocean water desalination project in El Segundo that could produce 20 MGD of drinking water. The accompanying public comment period will be an essential step in shaping the final EIR to be considered by the West Basin Board on a future date. At the same time, the District continues to be a voice supporting the advancement of legislation and regulatory criteria that enables increased water reuse both direct and indirect.

Finally, Southern California’s drying climate and continued dependence on imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River underscore the ongoing need to change our daily water use and efficiency practices. West Basin directors and staff enjoy developing and bringing new programs to the community, such as the Disadvantaged Community Water-Energy Savings Initiative Program. West Basin is also updating the water efficiency master plan in coordination with local water purveyors.

On behalf of the West Basin Board of Directors and staff, we look forward to furthering the District mission to provide a safe and reliable supply of high-quality water in 2018 and beyond.