Financial incentives approved for water recycling projects in Los Angeles, Riverside counties

Metropolitan District-approved projects will help reduce region’s reliance on water imports, improve future reliability.

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LOS ANGELES, NOVEMBER 8, 2016 -- Financial incentives for four water recycling projects that will treat and deliver a total of nearly 5.3 billion gallons of water a year for use in the cities of Los Angeles, Torrance and Perris were approved today by Metropolitan Water District's Board of Directors.

Metropolitan’s board authorized separate agreements with the city of Torrance and Eastern Municipal Water District for large-scale recycling projects and agreements for two Los Angeles Department of Water and Power projects. Metropolitan will provide as much as $44 million in incentives for the projects over the next 25 years, under the four agreements.

"Every drop of recycled water produced and used makes an equal drop of freshwater available for other uses," Metropolitan board Chairman Randy Record said. "These types of water management investments and programs are the backbone of the region's water resource plan that secures our water future by strengthening regional supply reliability and better prepares us to respond to the challenges of climate change."

The agreements were the first to receive Metropolitan board approval since the district refined its Local Resources Program in 2014. The program, which has provided economic incentives for recycling and groundwater clean-up projects throughout Metropolitan’s six-county service area since 1982, was revised two years ago to include seawater desalination efforts.

Over the years, Metropolitan has provided more than $570 million in incentives to develop more than 2.2 million acre-feet of recycled water and 850,000 acre-feet of recovered groundwater supplies that are treated to meet drinking water quality standards. (An acre-foot of water is nearly 326,000 gallons, about the amount used by two typical Southland households in and around the home in a year.)

Metropolitan's agreement with Torrance, as well as the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, calls for the construction of an advanced water treatment facility to produce about 10,000 acre-feet of recycled water for groundwater replenishment.

Under WRD's Ground Reliability Improvement Project, the plant will use microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection to treat tertiary recycled water from the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County’s San Jose Creek Water Reclamation Plant before delivering supplies to the WRD’s Montebello Forebay Spreading Grounds for replenishment.

Eastern's project will treat up to 5,500 acre-feet of degraded brackish groundwater from the West San Jacinto Groundwater Basin in Perris in southwest Riverside County for potable uses. The project includes the construction of a reverse osmosis desalter plant, up to seven new wells, about eight miles of pipeline, and other associated facilities.

One of the authorized Los Angeles projects will tap into an existing LADWP recycled water pipeline to convey about 350 acre-feet of water about two miles to the Sepulveda Basin Sports Complex and other nearby users for landscape irrigation and industrial purposes. The other LADWP project will deliver about 300 acre-feet of tertiary-treated recycled water from the Burbank Water Reclamation Plant to the North Hollywood area for similar purposes.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 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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