Outreach on LADWP/BOS Recycled Water Program Reaches First Year Milestone
Recycled Water Advisory Group (RWAG) Grows to 65 Members Representing Diverse Community Interests
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and the Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation (BOS) are marking the one-year milestone this month since the formation of the Recycled Water Advisory Group (RWAG), which is comprised of customers and stakeholders who are providing public input on the initiatives to increase use of recycled water for industrial and irrigation purposes as part of its efforts to conserve drinking water and develop a sustainable water supply for Los Angeles.
RWAG, launched in December 2009 by LADWP in collaboration with BOS, has grown to 65 members representing diverse interests. The group includes representatives from ten Neighborhood Councils, public garden associations and wildlife organizations in addition to the core group of initial members representing environmental groups, homeowners associations, public health advocates, businesses and business groups and professional organizations.
In the last 12 months, the LADWP has held five RWAG Workshops, conducted dozens of briefings and presentations, provided tours of various facilities and led other activities to get input from key stakeholders throughout the City about the Recycled Water Master Planning documents. The plan will identify projects on to achieve the goal of increasing the supply of recycled water to 50,000 acre feet per year (AFY). This amount of recycled water will replace an equivalent amount of drinking water that would otherwise serve 100,000 households per year. An acre foot is approximately 326,000 gallons, or a one-year supply for two average families. The recycled water master planning process is also looking at how the City can maximize recycled water usage into the future.
The Recycled Water Master Planning documents will examine projects that include expanding recycled water pipes for irrigation and industrial usage along with implementing a groundwater replenishment project to recharge groundwater supplies with highly purified water. Together, these efforts will help reduce the City’s dependence on imported water which accounts for approximately 85% of Los Angeles’ water consumption that has averaged 600 million gallons a day over the last decade.
“The LADWP has done an exemplary job with its outreach to inform stakeholders about recycled water,” said Tony Wilkinson, chairman of the Neighborhood Council MOU Oversight Committee and a founding member of RWAG. “I commend the LADWP for this effort — the information sharing and their willingness to hear our concerns. It’s been an outstanding experience.”
The LADWP collaborates with the BOS to produce and distribute 79 million gallons of recycled water every day for beneficial reuse that is approved and regulated by the California Department of Public Health. The recycled water is delivered in a dedicated “purple pipe” system that is separate from the City’s drinking water system. For the groundwater replenishment project, a pilot study is now being performed at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant to determine the most effective treatment process that includes microfiltration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation. This will result in the safest and highest quality water available from any source to recharge the San Fernando Valley Groundwater Basin.
“From the LADWP’s standpoint, this has been a great year engaging with key stakeholders about the need for us to expand water recycling as part of the City’s Water Supply Action Plan to move forward with initiatives that will help us create a sustainable water supply for our customers,” said Jim McDaniel, Senior Assistant General Manager, Water System. “We look forward to more constructive dialogue with RWAG and other community stakeholders in 2011 and beyond.”
Traci Minamide, BOS Chief Operating Officer, said: “I am proud to see how the partnership between BOS and LADWP has grown and developed through these public outreach efforts and how we move together towards a common goal — planning for a greener future, for better services planned with stakeholders’ interests and sustainability among the top priorities.”