West Basin Water News | Fall 2021

Now is the Time to be SUPER-CALI-FRUGALISTIC with our Water

A worsening drought has tightened its grip on West Basin with an ongoing request from the Governor to reduce statewide water use by 15 percent, an emergency drought declaration in all 58 California counties including Los Angeles County, a regional drought declaration by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and West Basin’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan shortage level one declaration in place.

Historically dry conditions in the western United States have limited the availability of Southern California’s two primary imported water supplies – the State Water Project from Northern California and the Colorado River.

With drought conditions projected to continue into 2022, Southern California expects to receive an unprecedented 0% initial allocation from Northern California next year. The State Water Project supply is already nearing critical levels, with state water contractors receiving a 2021 allocation of 5%, matching the lowest final allocation in history.

This means an added reliance and strain on the water from the Colorado River. Water storage at Lake Mead – the largest reservoir in the U.S., formed by the Hoover Dam – is at an all-time low. As a result, there will be water allocation cutbacks to Nevada and Arizona in the coming year. A further loss of water storage in Lake Mead would result in supply cutbacks to California in future years.

There is a sustained need to save water now – even with ongoing investments in storage and conservation that have helped prepare our cities and agencies for multi-year droughts, and the tremendous reduction in water use that our communities have achieved over the years.

West Basin residents currently use 120 gallons of water per person per day on average; down from 179 in 2000. And current water use in the West Basin service area remains approximately 15% lower compared to 2014, corresponding with the last major drought.

However, there is still much water-saving to do to reach the current 15% reduction goal, compared to 2020, as West Basin and the Governor are calling on each of us to do.

For West Basin, a 15% reduction of water use means actively decreasing water use by approximately 20 gallons per person per day on average.

To help achieve this goal, West Basin is committed to helping its communities use less water and thrive. By offering a variety of supportive water and money saving programs, several of which are featured in this issue, members of the service area can choose what works well for them, and benefit the community at large.

In addition, West Basin is launching its latest drought outreach campaign, calling on its 17 cities and portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County to be SUPER-CALI-FRUGALISTIC with our water.

The campaign call to “Save Water, Save California” highlights how local actions can make a far-reaching impact. The SUPER-CALI-FRUGALISTIC drought campaign challenges West Basin local communities to be frugal (i.e., prudent) with their water use to preserve limited supplies for our communities and all Californians during this severe statewide drought. Stay in touch for announcements of memorable community outreach experiences encouraging water savings in the year ahead.

Save Big with Black Friday Deals and a $500 Rebate for a High-Efficiency Washing Machine

West Basin’s Change & Save program inspires residents to save water and money by replacing appliances and indoor water fixtures. This program offers free water-saving device kits for service area residents, and a rebate of up to $500 for the purchase of a qualifying high-efficiency clothes washer for eligible service area residents.

To sign-up for a free Change & Save kit, visit our website: www.westbasin.org/conservation/conservation-programs/change-and-save. Quantities are limited.

The washer rebate program is tailored for service area communities disproportionately vulnerable to pollution, so some restrictions apply. To see if you are eligible for a rebate up to $500 for the purchase of a qualifying high-efficiency clothes washer follow these simple steps:

1) Estimate your rebate.
2) Download qualifying washer list.
3) Keep this list handy when you shop.
4) Apply for your rebate at SoCalWaterSmart.com.
5) Call or email us with any questions: change-save@westbasin.org, 310-371-4633.

Learn more at: www.westbasin.org/changeandsave.

Free Rain Barrels for Delivery and Pick Up: Registration Now Open

The free Rain Barrel Program returns in time for what will hopefully be a plentiful rainy season. Rain barrels, valued at $80 each, provide a great way to save water and reduce stormwater runoff by collecting and reusing rain water. A rainwater capture feature, such as a rain barrel, is also a requirement for West Basin’s grass replacement rebate program, which starts at $3 per square foot of grass replaced.

Two options are available for service area residents to receive their free rain barrels. For a limited time, West Basin will provide home delivery at no cost to recipients. There are a limited number of rain barrels available for delivery and the deadline to reserve barrels for delivery is January 20, 2022.

The District will also host two drive-through pick-up events in 2022. Pick-up event #1 at West Basin’s Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo on Saturday, January 29, 2022. Pick-up event #2 at West Basin’s headquarters in Carson on Saturday, February 5, 2022.

Eligible residents can sign up to receive up to two free 50-gallon rain barrels by registering at www.westbasin.org/rain-barrels or by calling 310-371-4633.

Since 2015, West Basin has helped save millions of gallons of water in the region by providing over 14,000 rain barrels at no cost to residents in West Basin’s 17 cities and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

Residents are encouraged to sign up today to receive their free rain barrels and start saving precious water.

New Landscape Transformation Program Launching: Grass Replacement+

As the severity of the drought increases, West Basin is also increasing its water saving program offerings. This fall, a new pilot program aims to improve outdoor water efficiency and expand urban tree canopy for West Basin communities disproportionately vulnerable to pollution, and at or below the median household income. The Grass Replacement+ program builds off the existing Grass Replacement Rebate Program available service area wide. The pilot will offer free custom landscape design, a free drought-tolerant tree and an increased rebate of $5 for every square foot of grass replaced. The program encourages water savings and helps to reduce costs associated with transforming yards into beautiful, sustainable gardens that residents and neighbors can enjoy.

Please visit www.westbasin.org/conservation for more details as this new program rolls out.

School Field Trips to the Water Recycling Facility Return in 2022

While students were welcomed back into the classroom across all grade levels,

school districts have been tasked with the challenge of re-opening protocols which include daily

health screenings, weekly COVID testing, shifting quarantine guidance regarding physical

distancing, student face masking, vaccination status and more. Re-opening safety protocols continue to improve. However, many school districts have still to identify protocols for in-person field trips.

As such, West Basin will continue to offer virtual tours, as well as bring back in-person field trip options to tour the West Basin Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo. Starting January 2022, and pending any guidance from public health officials and school district administrations, educators and students can tour the facility. To see if your school is eligible or to learn more about the program, visit: https://www.westbasin.org/community/education/water-treatment-facility-field-trips. Field trips are available from now until June 2022 and are offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

“S.T.E.A.M. Adventure” Water Education Festival Recordings Now Online

West Basin’s first-ever online water and drought education festival held on October 23, 2021 drew an online crowd of nearly 300 community members interested in the state of our precious water resources as California faces an increasingly severe drought.

The Water Harvest S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Adventure included interactive activities, games and giveaways that encouraged participation and learning.

The program allowed participants to hear from and interact with knowledgeable staff from the California Department of Water Resources, Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Roundhouse Aquarium, UC Master Gardeners, Water Replenishment District and West Basin.

Opportunity drawings also rewarded participants with prizes such as a water-efficient washing machine awarded to an Inglewood resident, and an electric bicycle to a resident of the Harbor Gateway South area.

The program schedule and festival video is now available on the program webpage: www.westbasin.org/waterharvest.

Two Major Recycled Water Projects Advance in 2022

Looking ahead to the New Year, West Basin investment in recycled water will continue with two major construction projects advancing in 2022: The Juanita Millender-McDonald Carson Regional Water Recycling Plant (JMMCRWRP) Phase II Expansion Project, and the Palos Verdes Recycled Water Pipeline Project.

The Carson Regional Water Recycling Expansion Project (pictured) construction plans, valued at over $20 million, will include the construction of a new custom engineered microfiltration (MF) system (CEMF) to replace the existing MF system, as well as ancillary improvements to the approximately five-acre water recycling plant in the City of Carson. Contractors will operate under West Basin’s Project Labor Agreement, which aims to boost the local economy and enhance local employment opportunities for local construction workers. The plant delivers advanced treated recycled water to the nearby Marathon Petroleum refinery in Carson for boiler feed and cooling tower use, and replaces the use of drinking water with recycled water for industrial purposes. To date, West Basin has produced more than 28 billion gallons of fit-for-purpose recycled water at the JMMCRWRP since the year 2000.

West Basin is also proud to partner with California Water Service, the City of Palos Verdes Estates, the City of Torrance and the Palos Verdes Golf Course to begin pipeline construction to deliver recycled water to new recycled water customers in Torrance and Palos Verdes Estates. The extension of the recycled water distribution system will save over 240 acre‐feet (78 million gallons) of drinking water annually from being used for outdoor irrigation, commercial and industrial processing purposes and help drought‐proof the region.

Program updates will be posted online as the projects progress.

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