President’s Message

A Message From West Basin President Scott Houston

It is my honor to be elected by my colleagues to serve as the 2019 board president. This promises to be a busy and exciting year, and I am delighted to lead West Basin in the months ahead. As a board, we will continue to focus our efforts on water conservation, community education and outreach, and the increased use of recycled water throughout our service area. West Basin remains dedicated to protecting our existing water supplies while also securing local, drought-resilient resources that will ensure future water reliability to the communities we serve.

With this year’s wet winter, the threat of drought and the need for continued conservation tactics may seem less urgent, but this would be short-sighted. Our California climate is highly variable and the next drought is sure to come again. Fortunately, with the help of West Basin programs, our residents are showing that they are willing and able to adapt to conservation as a way of life. The District’s free rain barrel program continues to be as popular as ever, with thousands of households eager to capture rain for their gardens. Turf removal, and the transformation of thirsty lawns into attractive, sustainable landscapes, is another great way to reduce outdoor water use – which represents the majority of California’s urban water use.  We encourage West Basin residents to take advantage of the rebates and classes on how to replace your turf that are available now and throughout the year.

Community education and outreach is an important West Basin commitment. This year, the District is eagerly planning for the reopening of its visitor center at the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) in El Segundo, Calif. Once ECLWRF construction completes this summer, the renovated center will feature new displays and exhibits, and better accommodate the more than 6,000 students and guests that typically tour the ECLWRF each year.

The District will also continue to prioritize its Capital Improvement Program to enhance recycled water production system wide. West Basin is committed to maintaining existing assets and investing in new infrastructure that will allow for continued growth to support demand for recycled water. Last year, the District achieved a major milestone of producing more than 200 billion gallons of recycled water, and we look forward to seeing that number increase.

As Governor Gavin Newsom settles into his first term in office, West Basin will stay engaged on the critical water and infrastructure policy and legislation discussions at the state level. This includes the refinement of the California WaterFix project that will modernize the state’s water conveyance system that is vital to our existing water supplies from the Sierra Nevada snowpack. On the federal level, West Basin continues to be successful in accessing grants to offset the cost of new infrastructure on behalf of our ratepayers.

Lastly, the District continues its effort to explore new local, drought-resilient water supplies. Later in the year, West Basin will release the final Environmental Impact Report on the potential ocean water desalination project that could provide up to 60 million gallons per day of drinking water to the region. Our website will provide more details as the release date nears.

On behalf of the West Basin Board of Directors, I look forward to an active year of working together to secure a reliable water future.