West Basin increases popular grass replacement rebate to $3 per square foot
In July, the West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) Board of Directors added one dollar to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s (MWD) popular two dollar grass replacement rebate. The extra dollar increased the total rebate incentive for eligible applicants to three dollars or more per square foot of grass removed.
“In keeping with our goal of long-term local water reliability, West Basin is pleased to offer an extra dollar per square foot to encourage replacing thirsty lawns and grass with drought tolerant plants and landscaping across our service area,” said West Basin Board President Scott Houston.
As an effort to help residents and businesses within the service area learn how to take advantage of this rebate, the District is also offering a free series of monthly grass replacement classes throughout the service area until October. Each class helps attendees understand the program requirements and teaches them how to properly convert their grass landscapes into a drought-tolerant garden.
President Houston added, “This additional financial incentive, combined with free classes and conservation education, will further help our District ensure a sustainable water future.”
Service area residents must RSVP for each class by visiting www.westbasin.org/grass-replacement or by calling (310) 371-7222. Space is limited and refreshments will be provided. Class attendance is not required for rebate eligibility. For more information about MWD’s Turf Replacement Program and other water-saving rebate programs, please visit www.bewaterwise.com.
District adopts operating budget and increases funds for Water Bottle Filling Station Grant Program
West Basin adopted its fiscal year 2019-2020 operating budget in July, which includes increased funding opportunities for the District’s Water Bottle Filling Station Grant Program. Eligible public facilities can apply for a $1,000 grant to install indoor water bottle filling stations and now $2,000 for outdoor filling stations, which can cost more than indoor units.
The popular program provides community members with access to safe, reliable drinking water and encourages users to refill personal, eco-friendly water bottles to reduce plastic waste.
Since launching the program in 2017, West Basin has installed 21 water bottle filling stations throughout its service area. These stations have prevented the use of approximately 110,000 plastic water bottles annually, potentially decreasing the harmful environmental impacts of single-use plastics while also providing access to free, high-quality water at local schools, community centers and parks.
Eligible grant applicants must be public facilities located in the District service area that meet all criteria specified in the application guidelines. Grant details and application forms are available at www.westbasin.org/fillingstations.
West Basin celebrates Dominguez Technology Center connection to recycled water system
On August 6, West Basin and the Dominguez Technology Center celebrated the connection of the District’s recycled water to the center’s irrigation system. Through this new partnership, West Basin will provide approximately 135 acre-feet per year (AFY) of recycled water which will service 36 sites on the industrial park’s campus.
In partnership with the Watson Land Company, Carson Companies, and California Water Service, this connection demonstrates a commitment to a sustainable water future. The industrial park in Carson will use locally-produced, recycled water from West Basin to irrigate the landscape to save over 40 million gallons of drinking water per year. As one of 14 local projects partially financed by the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Costal Bond Act (Prop 84), this project is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan that promotes water security through locally sourced, recycled water.
To date, West Basin has invested more than $600 million in its recycled water program and produced over 200 billion gallons of recycled water since the program began in 1995. By continuing water recycling efforts, the District is securing a diverse and strong water portfolio for immediate and future use.
For more information about West Basin’s recycled water and Water for Tomorrow programs, please visit www.westbasin.org/waterfortomorrow.
Board of Directors supports recycled water and infrastructure legislation
The West Basin Board of Directors adopted a support position on federal legislation, the Water Recycling Investment and Improvement Act (H.R. 1162) and The Drought Resiliency and Water Supply Infrastructure Act (S. 1932).
H.R. 1162, introduced by Representative Grace Napolitano (CA), would increase the Title XVI authorization under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act) from $50 million to $500 million. Title XVI is the only federal program that provides funding specifically for water reuse projects in the western states. The bill, if passed, would make Title XVI a permanent program, and would increase the project funding limit for Title XVI projects from $20 million to $30 million.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Senator Corey Gardner (CO) proposed S. 1932, which would authorize $670 million for surface and groundwater storage projects, $100 million for water recycling projects, and $60 million for desalination projects. The proposal would also create a new program known as the Reclamation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (RIFIA) to provide low interest loans for water supply infrastructure projects. The proposed new authorized funding would create future funding opportunities for West Basin’s infrastructure project over the next five years.
The Board’s support on these measures allows the District to work with its Congressional delegation to support federal investments in water supply infrastructure, conservation projects and programs.
Transparency Certificate of Excellence awarded to West Basin
West Basin earned the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence from the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance.
To receive the award, a special district must demonstrate the completion of essential governance transparency requirements, including conducting ethics training for all board members, properly conducting open and public meetings, and filing financial transactions and compensation reports to the State Controller in a timely manner.
For more information on the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence, visit www.csda.net/sdlf.
District nears completion of major recycled water projects and plans for annual community event
The District continues to make progress securing our region’s water future with its recycled water capital improvement projects and educational events.
The Pump Station Improvements Project nears completion and demonstrates the District’s investment in critical infrastructure that helps provide the service area with drought-resilient, recycled water. The construction of a new West Basin pump station and installation of an emergency generator located at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant (Hyperion) in Playa Del Rey is essential in delivering water to West Basin’s Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) in El Segundo.
In the fall, West Basin also plans to re-open the ECLWRF Visitor Center for a refreshed educational experience. In addition, West Basin’s annual Water Harvest festival will return to the ECLWRF this year on Saturday, October 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Additional festival details will be announced in September. Families are encouraged to join this free community event and learn more about their water supply.