West Basin Water News | Summer 2018

West Basin Achieves Milestone of Producing 200 Billion Gallons of Recycled Water

West Basin announced in June that the District achieved the milestone of producing 200 billion gallons of recycled water.

In 1995, West Basin built the world-class, state-of-the-art Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) in the City of El Segundo. This launched the District’s innovative recycled water program that receives treated sewer water from the City of Los Angeles’ Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant and further treats the water at West Basin’s facilities to produce five types of recycled waters to meet the needs of its customers for multiple purposes. West Basin recycled water is used for irrigation, industrial cooling towers, high- and low-pressure boiler feeds, as well as seawater barrier and groundwater replenishment. Through its recycled water program, West Basin has saved enough drinking water to meet the needs of 5.5 million people for one year.

“As a pioneer of fit-for-purpose recycled water within the industry, West Basin remains committed to the growth of our recycled water program and water reuse within the State of California,” said Donald L. Dear, West Basin Board President. “We look forward to continuously increasing our recycled water production as demand grows within our service area.”

West Basin has invested approximately $600 million in infrastructure and treatment technologies for its water recycling program. This includes more than $277 million in grants and outside investments to assist with program costs.

In addition, West Basin recently broke ground for the renovation of the ECLWRF visitor and education center, with Directors Harold C. Williams, Scott Houston, Gloria D. Gray, and Carol W. Kwan (pictured, from L - R) in attendance. Since its opening in 1995, more than 100,000 people, including local school children, college groups, international delegations, trade groups and professionals, have visited the facility.  

The renovated center will feature new content, displays and exhibits that will better enable the District to help educate the approximately 6,000 students and guests that tour the ECLWRF each year. The project also includes the expansion of the facility’s public meeting spaces, enabling the District to accommodate more visitors and increase awareness of water-related issues in the region. The visitor and education center is anticipated to re-open to the public in summer 2019.


New Conservation Programs Help Residents Save Water and Money

As a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District, West Basin service area residents and businesses have the opportunity to take advantage of rebates for replacing turf with sustainable landscaping features as part of a new Landscape Transformation Program. Qualifying projects can receive a rebate of $1 per square foot for up to a $1,500 rebate for homes and $10,000 for businesses. Rebate details are available at www.bewaterwise.com.

To complement Metropolitan’s rebate program, community members in West Basin’s service area will have the opportunity to attend one of five events that offer a free class designed for attendees to learn how to remove their grass and transform their landscapes into beautiful, sustainable and drought tolerant gardens. To RSVP for a class closest to you, please visit www.westbasin.org/landscapetransformation or call (310) 371-4633.

Additionally, Malibu and Topanga residents have the opportunity to help their community save 28 million gallons of water annually. The City of Malibu, Los Angeles County Waterworks and West Basin have launched the Malibu and Topanga Smart water conservation programs to help residents conserve water, saving both energy and money. The program aims to educate the community about installing water-efficient devices while highlighting the various rebates available. Residents can learn more about the program via www.malibusmart.org and www.topangasmart.org.


Award-winning Finance Department Presents New Budget

West Basin’s finance department was recently awarded the “Achievement of Excellence in Procurement.” Procurement involves the process of selecting vendors, establishing payment terms, negotiation of contracts, as well as the actual purchasing of goods on the behalf of the District. The “Achievement of Excellence in Procurement” award is earned by public and non-profit organizations that obtain a high application score based on standardized criteria, and is awarded annually to recognize Innovation, Professionalism, E-Procurement, Productivity, and Leadership in the procurement function.

Of the 201 successful applicants, West Basin was one of only 47 agencies in California and one of only 29 special districts in the United States and Canada to receive the award.

In other finance news, West Basin prepares its fiscal year budget based on the priorities, goals and objectives set by the Board of Directors. The Operating Budget is made available to the public to ensure the District’s mission, strategic goals and commitment to transparency are continually met. Approved in April, the 2018-2019 budget went into effect July 1, 2018. 

A key change in the new fiscal year budget is the implementation of a new Fixed Service Charge to West Basin’s imported water customers and the elimination of its Water Service Charge. The new charge was a result of a study performed to explore rate structure alternatives that promote revenue and rate stability. The Fixed Service Charge will be allocated based on each customer’s three-year historical rolling average of imported water deliveries. By introducing a Fixed Service Charge, West Basin is less vulnerable to demand fluctuations, which in turn will provide more rate stability for its customers.

West Basin’s entire operating budget for the fiscal year is available online at: http://www.westbasin.org/finance/financial-reports.


District Plans to Convert 11 New Sites to Recycled Water

The recycled water program is the cornerstone of West Basin’s effort to increase water reliability by augmenting local water supplies. West Basin applauds the customers that helped launch West Basin’s program, as well as those that continue to help the program grow. Each customer recognizes that by choosing recycled water, they further their own sustainability efforts and help the community conserve vital drinking water resources.

West Basin delivers up to 40 million gallons of recycled water per day for industrial, commercial and municipal customers throughout the South Bay region of Los Angeles County. The District is currently in the development stages of supplying 11 new sites with recycled water by the year 2020.

In addition, the District is working on the design to construct a pipeline and a pump station that will supply recycled water to six more sites in the City of Torrance and on the Palos Verdes peninsula, providing recycled water for schools, parks, and a golf course.

The Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District in Inglewood, future home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, is one of the higher-profile projects that the District is working on. Recycled water is currently used on-site during construction for dust control, soil compaction and streetscape irrigation systems along Prairie Avenue and Century Boulevard. Upon the project’s completion, the District will supply an estimated 200 AFY of recycled water for landscape irrigation and a decorative lake.

If your organization is interested in converting to recycled water, please visit http://www.westbasin.org/water-supplies-recycled-water/customer-development for more details.


Addressing Community Questions About Ocean Water Desalination
 

West Basin released a draft environmental impact report (EIR) that evaluates possible impacts and mitigation measures of a potential ocean water desalination facility that would produce 20 to 60 million gallons per day of locally sourced drinking water. 

Input from the public is a critical part of the environmental review process and helps to inform and refine the final report. After hosting two public meetings and completing a 91-day public comment period from March 27 to June 25, some of the categories of most frequently asked questions regarding the potential project that are answered in the draft EIR are summarized below:

  • Recreation/Lifestyle – Construction activities would not interfere with the use of adjacent recreational areas (beaches, bike trail, surf, etc.).
  • Noise – Proper steps will be taken to reduce noise level within applicable limits for residential areas.
  • Traffic – A “Construction Traffic Control Plan” identifying appropriate work hours and routes will be implemented to mitigate traffic impacts.

A comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page that accompanies the draft EIR is available at www.westbasin.org/desal

West Basin will formally respond to all comments submitted in regards to the draft EIR. Once responses have been prepared and appropriate revisions are made, a final EIR and a Response-to-Comments document will be released. All members of the public who provided comment to the draft EIR will be notified upon the availability and public review of the final EIR.