Spring 2015

Governor Brown Directs First-Ever Statewide, Mandatory Water Restrictions

On April 1, California Governor Jerry Brown issued an Executive Order requiring the State Water Resources Control Board to implement measures to cut the state’s overall water usage by 25 percent. As a water wholesaler serving 17 cities throughout the South Bay, West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) is well-suited to respond to this order and will be assisting its cities and retail water agencies in their efforts to implement the water-saving programs called out by the Governor. West Basin has been reducing potable water use for more than two decades through its recycling and conservation programs. By investing over $600 million in recycling and conservation projects, West Basin has reduced per capita water use by 27 percent throughout its service area. Recently, West Basin passed the 165 billion gallon mark of recycled water production during its 20th year of water recycling operations at the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility.

We want to thank our residents who have conserved, and strongly encourage them to keep helping us conserve our precious water. West Basin will continue to host landscape workshops on how to convert water-thirsty lawns into California Friendly, drought-tolerant landscaping, and inform our residents on current conservation rebates and programs. For more information on what you can do to help save water, please visit www.westbasin.org.

West Basin and Water Allocations

To support Governor Brown’s call for a mandatory 25 percent water use reduction and with the State Water Resources Control Board adopting emergency drought regulations, the Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors voted to restrict supplies to its 26 member agencies, West Basin being one of them, beginning July 1st. The action represents roughly a 15 percent reduction and is only the fourth time in the district’s history that Metropolitan has restricted supplies. Agencies that exceed their allocated supply will face surcharges and vary based on local supply conditions and past water-saving actions. This is to target excessive water users rather than increase rates across the board.

Residents and businesses have already lowered their water use significantly over the years, but there is still more that needs to be done in this challenging year. The new regulations adopted by the State Board divide the state’s 411 urban water agencies into nine tiers and each water district can decide how to achieve its conservation targets. Metropolitan increased its conservation budget to assist Southland residents to further reduce water use, especially outdoors, where some of the biggest water wasting takes place. Customers have already signed up to remove almost 100 million square feet of turf, equivalent to over 60,000 front yards. For more information about rebates and water-saving tips, visit bewaterwise.com.

West Basin Recognized for its Sustainability Efforts

West Basin was awarded “Engineer Project of the Year” by the Los Angeles Basin Section (LABS) of the California Water Environment Association (CWEA) for the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility Phase V Expansion Project. The 2014 Engineering Achievement award was presented to West Basin on February 6, 2015. West Basin Board members Carol W. Kwan, Scott Houston, and Harold C. Williams joined West Basin staff and representatives from Parsons (as shown on left), the design-build contractor for the project, to accept the award.

The Phase V expansion project was recognized for two major historical and technological achievements:

  1. The first known implementation of a full-scale application of the ozone pretreatment process for microfiltration (MF) in the country.
  2. The expansion of the barrier water system to enable West Basin to produce 100 percent recycled water to the West Coast Barrier for seawater intrusion barrier and groundwater recharge application.

In March 2015, The Climate Registry presented West Basin with a ClimatEEfficient certificate (as shown on left) for its participation in the Cool Planet Project and their achievements in energy and carbon reductions.

Customer Spotlight: West Basin Salutes Honda

West Basin salutes all of its recycled water customers for doing their part in this drought. Particularly, West Basin congratulates Torrance-based American Honda for converting its site to recycled water in August 2014. By using recycled water on its campus lawns, Honda is helping to conserve our drinking water. We commend Honda for their initiative to use recycled water and their commitment to water reliability. By using recycled water for irrigation, they are not only saving millions of gallons of our precious drinking water, but are helping to reduce our dependence on imported water.

To learn more about our recycled water programs and customers, please visit www.westbasin.org.

West Basin Out on Earth Day

West Basin staff participated in several Earth Day events that help educate the community about our most precious resource and environmentally-friendly practices and behaviors that make an impact in our everyday lives.

Norhtrop Grumman event


West Basin hosted an educational booth on the Sony Picture Lot along with 70 eco-vendors, service providers, and non-profits for nearly 2,000 employees. In addition to the West Basin booth, we partnered up with Global Inheritance at their Oasis Water Bar to explain how purified wastewater can be a reliable source of our future water supply.


Led by Surfrider Foundation, West Basin participated in a hands-on-demo that allowed Northrop employees to get their hands dirty learning how to install California Friendly plants. In addition, they learned about drip irrigation and how to maximize their watering.

Beach Clean-up MATTEL

A West Basin recycled water customer, Mattel’s sustainability group is encouraging its employees to be more proactive in efforts both at work and at home. West Basin shared with Mattel employees information about its conservation programs, including rebates, and educational classes and tours it offers to learn more about recycled water.


Recycling, sustainability, energy-saving and ecologically-friendly were all words used in the 2015 CSUDH Earth Day festival. West Basin was on-hand to discuss our Ocean Friendly Garden program that can conserve up to 80 percent of outdoor watering by replacing water-wasting turf with drought-tolerant plants that require little-to-no water once they are established.



To help prepare for the upcoming May 17th King Harbor Sea Fair event, that promotes safe boating practices and environmental awareness, West Basin staff sanded and painted the outside of the aquariums at the SEA Lab for visitors to enjoy.


Armed with trash grabbers and buckets, West Basin staff hit the beach at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and were able to prevent over 1,500 pieces of trash from entering the ocean.

Ocean Friendly Gardens

The Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG) program was designed to produce drought-tolerant and aesthetic gardens that will restore our watersheds and conserve water. These gardens conserve up to 80 percent more water than a water-wasting lawn and reduce urban runoff into the ocean. To date, West Basin has built 11 gardens throughout its service area. See below for some of our recent gardens.

Rowley Park Groundbreaking CSUDH Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony


City of Gardena Councilmember Dan Medina, West Basin Director Donald L. Dear, Gardena City Manager Mitchell Lansdell, along with community partners from Golden State Water Company and Surfrider Foundation, broke ground on a new garden at Rowley Park in Gardena. The 2,094-square-foot garden is designed to capture 1,166 gallons of rainwater.


West Basin Director Harold C. Williams along with California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) Vice President Robert Fenning and Surfrider’s Steven Williams celebrated the unveiling of West Basin’s Ocean Friendly Garden during a ribbon-cutting ceremony with a special blessing led by Jimi Castillo, Spiritual Leader of the Tongva Nation, an indigenous tribe of the Los Angeles Basin, and his wife, Jeanette. Located at the University Housing Complex, this garden replaces nearly 7,000 square-feet of grass with 250 water-saving, drought-tolerant trees and plants native to Southern California. The water-saving plants were incorporated into the design as well as boulder seating along the mulch pathway to allow students, residents, and visitors to enjoy the garden comfortably for years to come.


Culver City Ribbon-Cutting CeremonyStudents at Culver City High School demonstrated that they are doing their part to conserve water during one of California’s most historic droughts to date. Students joined West Basin Director Scott Houston, Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, Culver City Unified School District Board Member Laura Chardiet and community partners to unveil a new Ocean Friendly Garden on campus.

Located at the Robert Frost Auditorium, this 2,332-square-foot sustainable garden features several swales that capture large volumes of rainwater from the roof, reducing runoff to the ocean and conserving up to 80% of the water that would have been used to water the old landscape. The drought-tolerant plants were installed by students themselves during a hands-on workshop held in December 2014.

Solar Cup 2015

Lennox Academy high school studentsThe culminating races for Solar Cup 2015 take place May 15-17th at Lake Skinner, Temecula. Solar Cup is the world’s largest Solar Boat building and racing competition for high school students. This 7-month long education program is sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) and its member agencies. West Basin Municipal Water District is happy to sponsor three schools this year, and each team is looking forward to hitting the water and comparing their boat engineering and sailing skills against 40 other high school teams.

West Basin’s teams include:

  • Lennox Academy, Inglewood
  • Environmental Charter High School, Lawndale
  • California Academy of Math and Science, Carson

Visit the West Basin Solar Cup page for the team’s progress. For further information about the overall program, visit MWD’s Solar Cup page.

Water Harvest Save the Date – Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015

Water Harvest is a FREE family event for the community to learn more about the value of water. As California faces this serious drought, now more than ever we must all do our part to help ensure a more reliable water future. West Basin will be offering tours of the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility, interactive games, kid’s costume contest, stage shows, pony rides, reptile petting zoo, food, and the chance to enter into our grand prize giveaway. View a video from last year’s Water Harvest.

Saturday, October 24, 2014
When: 10 am – 2 pm
Where: Edward C. Little Water Recycling
Facility 1935 S. Hughes Way | El Segundo, California 90245 Visit here for more details coming soon.

Turf’s Up! Remove your Thirsty Lawn with West Basin’s Turf Removal Rebate

Did you know that that average lawn uses 41,000 gallons of water per year? That is a lot of water! With Governor Brown asking Californians to continue saving water and highlighting the importance of reducing outdoor water use in his latest declaration, West Basin wants to remind you about our Turf Removal Program. By replacing your water-wasting lawn, residents in West Basin’s service area can save water, time and money by incorporating water-efficient, drought-tolerant plants and landscapes. Qualifying residents can receive $2 per square foot to remove your thirsty lawn and help conserve water during this time of drought.All reservation requests received after 1 pm on May 12, 2015 will be subject to any new terms and conditions that will be announced on May 26, 2015. For full details and more on how to qualify, call (888) 376-3314 or visit www.socalwatersmart.com.

Water is Life Student Art Contest Winners

The West Basin Board of Directors presented iPad Airs to 15 grand prize and honorable mention winners to local students for the annual “Water is Life” Student Art Contest. More than 400 entries were received from public and private schools throughout West Basin’s service area and winning artwork was chosen based on the creativity of students’ portrayal of water conservation messages coupled with their artistic skills. Their artwork will be reproduced on bookmarks at South Bay City public libraries and a variety of West Basin promotional materials throughout the year. View the awardees’ winning artwork and water conservation messages here.
For more information on the contest, click here.

Water Conservation Plant Fairs at Home Depot

Want to know where you can go to get drought-tolerant plants for your sustainable garden? Look no further! Save money and water with Home Depot and West Basin by attending one of our upcoming water conservation plant fairs at various parking lot events throughout the South Bay. Together, we are providing great discounts (3 for $10) on select varieties of low water-use plants, while supplies last. Participants will receive information on water-saving soils and high-efficiency irrigation technology. Free Kid’s Workshops designed for children, ages 5 – 12 will be held between 9 am – 12 pm. Help conserve during this drought by creating your own California friendly garden. See our flyer for complete details.

Upcoming Dates & Locations:
May 30 – Carson
June 13 – Hawthorne

Get Involved with West Basin: Tours, Classes & Speakers Bureau

Come learn about the importance of water and how West Basin is taking steps to further diversify its water supply through our Water 101 classes, free tours, and Speakers Bureau program.

In just one night, become an honorary water expert. Water 101 provides a global, national and local look on current and future water issues. Attendees will learn more about where our water comes from and experience a tour of our water recycling facility. Reservations are required. Please call (310) 660-6243 or email info@westbasin.org to register.

2015 Water 101 Dates
El Segundo (Twilight Tour): June 4, Aug. 6, Oct. 1, Dec.3 Carson (Virtual Tour): June 11, Aug.13, Oct.8, Dec. 10 TOURS
Visit the world renowned Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility and tour the only facility that produces five “designer” waters and see wastewater purified into drinking water quality right before your eyes. We also offer free public tours of our Water Education Center where visitors can learn more about Southern California’s water supply and how we are safely researching ocean-water desalination to further diversify our water supply. Reservations are required. Please call (310) 660- 6243 or email info@westbasin.org to register.

Water Recycling Tour Dates:
July 11, Sept. 12, Nov. 14

Water Education Center Tour Days:
Wednesdays and Thursdays by appointment only.
Fridays – every hour from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Saturdays – every hour from 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Sunday and Mondays are closed.

Is your organization or business interested in learning more about the current drought and other water issues? We have water experts available to speak to your group about conservation, recycling, education, and ocean-water desalination through our free speakers bureau program. To schedule a speaker from West Basin for your next meeting or event, please contact the Public Information Department at (310) 660-6200 or email info@westbasin.org.

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