MWD Approves Study on Largest Regional Recycled Water Program in Nation

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board of Directors today approved an agreement that could lead to the development of the largest recycled water supply program of its kind in the nation.

The board authorized an agreement with the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County to develop a 1-million-gallon-per-day demonstration plant and also to establish terms for future development of what could become a large-scale regional treatment project to purify wastewater currently discharged into the Pacific Ocean.

Under the partnership, MWD would build a new purification plant to produce up to 168,000 acre-foot per year at the sanitation district’s Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson. The partnership also would build about 30 miles of distribution pipelines to move water from the plant to replenish groundwater basins in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Randy Record, board chairman of MWD, said the proposed program would represent the first in-region production of water by MWD, the Southland’s primary water import agency.

“The purified water produced by this program would represent a new drought-proof supply to help replenish the region’s groundwater basins, which typically produce about a third of Southern California’s overall water needs,” Record said.

“Diversifying the region’s supply sources, advancing conservation and maintaining our imported supplies are all critical and complementary parts of our long-term water plan for Southern California,” Record added.

The MWD Board’s action authorizes $15 million for the demonstration plant and feasibility studies. The board of directors of the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County will consider the proposed agreement terms on Nov. 16.