MWD Board authorizes groundwater recovery projects in Simi Valley, Pomona

Two projects will provide more than 800 million gallons of recovered groundwater a year for use in two areas. MWD will invest up to $7.1 million in combined incentives over the next 25 years for them. In other news, the board also approves employment terms for new CEO...

LOS ANGELES, April 13, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Metropolitan Water District's Board of Directors yesterday authorized two project agreements that together will ultimately provide more than 800 million gallons of recovered groundwater a year for use in Simi Valley and Pomona.

Metropolitan will provide as much as $7.1 million in combined incentives over the next 25 years for the two projects, sponsored by Calleguas Municipal Water District and Ventura County Water Works District No. 8, as well as Three Valleys Municipal Water District.

"Every drop of groundwater recovered makes an equal amount of imported water available for other uses," said Metropolitan Board Chairman Wes Bannister. "These projects are components of a trust account for the region through Metropolitan's diversified portfolio of water resources, which includes conservation, desalination, recycling and storage."

The Calleguas project calls for construction of two wells, a treatment plant in Tapo Canyon and associated pipelines that will pump and desalt brackish groundwater from a Simi Valley basin and deliver up to 1,455 acre-feet of potable water a year for use in the city. (An acre-foot of water is nearly 326,000 gallons, enough to meet the annual needs of two typical Southland families in and around their homes.)

Three Valleys' project upgrades an existing well in Pomona and provides a treatment facility to reduce or remove levels of nitrates and perchlorate from up to 1,100 acre-feet of recovered water per year.

The two projects are among 13 selected through a competitive process for participation in Metropolitan's local resources program, which provides economic incentives for recycling and groundwater recovery efforts throughout MWD's six-county service area.

Since 1982, Metropolitan has invested more than $165 million toward regional recycled water and groundwater clean-up projects, which produce over 120,000 acre-feet of water a year. Today, urban Southern California conserves, recycles and recovers more than 900,000 acre-feet of water a year.

In another action, Metropolitan's board finalized the employment terms of Dennis B. Underwood, the agency's new chief executive officer and general manager. Underwood, who immediately assumed Metropolitan's top management post after the board action, was chosen at a special board meeting April 1.

Under the approved terms, Underwood's base annual salary will be $260,000, with a one-year severance package. Underwood's benefits and compensation will be similar to other unrepresented Metropolitan employees.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California ( is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving 18 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.


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