United Water Conservation District Saving A Lot More Than Water

  • by United Water Conservation District
  • May 25, 2021

OXNARD – In spite of soaring temperatures and continuing drought conditions, United Water Conservation District (UWCD), a leader among Ventura County water districts and environmental steward for the Santa Clara River valley and its tributaries, has just posted remarkable energy savings as well as significant reductions in

Saticoy Recharge Basins. Photo Credit: John Carman.

greenhouse gases all while moving some 31,795 acre feet of water from its Santa Felicia Dam storage facility to groundwater recharge basins in addition to direct surface water deliveries throughout Ventura County.

“UWCD’s commitment to efficiently managing, conserving, protecting and enhancing the water resources of the Santa Clara River valley encompasses energy efficiencies and sustainable best practices in all areas of our operations,” explained UWCD General Manager Mauricio E. Guardado, Jr. “Those efficiencies not only preserve and protect our environment, they also provide cost saving benefits to our ratepayers, serve as a stellar example to stakeholders throughout Ventura County that we can all contribute to reaching our sustainability goals and are consistent with Governor Newsom’s Water Resiliency Portfolio Executive Order.”

A Director on the Port Hueneme Water Agency’s Board and Executive Director of the Channel Islands Beach Community Services District (CIBCSD) Pete Martinez said: “United’s efficient operations benefits customers within its Pumping Trough Pipeline (PTP) and Pleasant Valley (PV) pipeline service area by making surface water deliveries available, which in turn reduces groundwater pumping and ultimately helps to offset seawater intrusion along our coast. That’s a plus to Port Hueneme and other beach communities, especially in light of United’s limited diversions at the Freeman due to imposed regulatory limitations.”

El Rio Basin Recharge. Photo Credit: John Carman.

Laubacher Farm’s owner Hank Laubacher, Jr., a fourth generation produce grower on the Oxnard Plain, explains: “Thanks to the extended water release from its Santa Felicia Dam during some of the warmest days and months of this growing season, we’ve been able to utilize United’s surface water deliveries, which is a welcome surprise at this time of year. Not only is the water quality higher, but because we’re not turning on our pumps, we’re saving energy and groundwater, which is always a big boost for us farmers.”

Committed to providing safe, clean and affordable water to the 377,000 residents within its boundaries in an efficient, cost effective and environmentally sound manner, UWCD enrolled in the Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalREN) program and Southern California Edison’s Water Infrastructure and System Efficiency™ (WISE™) program that is operated by Lincus, Inc. in 2015.  The Lincus WISE™ program identified opportunities for UWCD to improve the efficiency in its groundwater sourcing and distribution systems through pump overhauls and advanced automation controls after an initial study and subsequent review of the District’s 17 ground water pump systems and booster stations. Additionally, the District worked with other agencies in Ventura County, such as Pleasant Valley County Water District, to disseminate its best practices that resulted in:

  • Over 19.7 million kWh of energy savings over the life of these energy efficiency measures, 457.3 kW peak demand savings and 1,006.1 kW of demand reduction through direct surface water deliveries throughout Ventura County, which contributed to greenhouse gas reduction and also increased the district’s overall resiliency during the time of droughts and fires by making more groundwater available for normal use and for emergencies.
  • Reduced over 4,386 metric tons of CO2 equivalent GHG, roughly equivalent to removing approximately 948 cars off the road for one year.

About United Water Conservation District

Since 1927, United Water Conservation District has served as a leader among water agencies by managing, protecting, enhancing and securing the water resources of the Santa Clara River and Oxnard Coastal Plain. The District works to protect the environment’s natural attributes and conserves runoff from all major tributaries of the Santa Clara River including Piru, Hopper, Sespe and Santa Paula Creeks. Committed to managing the area’s water supplies through groundwater replenishment and the construction and operation of efficient water supply and delivery systems, the District serves as the conservator of groundwater resources that are utilized by the cities of Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Ventura, Santa Paula and Fillmore, as well as Naval Base Ventura County and several mutual water districts, farms and individual pumpers. The District also provides surface water for agricultural irrigation and treated drinking water to the cities of Oxnard and Port Hueneme. Learn more at www.unitedwater.org.

About Port Hueneme Water Agency (PHWA)

The PHWA Board of Directors is comprised of three City Council members and The PHWA was formed in July 1994 as a means to better manage sub-regional urban water supplies for their customers. Along with the City of Port Hueneme, two neighboring Naval Bases became participants in the PHWA: United States Naval Construction Battalion Center (USNCBC) and the United States Naval Air Weapons Station (USNAWS). Since then, the USNCBC and USNAWS have been combined to form the Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), and are served by PHWA. This plan was prepared in conjunction with efforts of other agencies within Ventura County.  The PHWA Board of Directors is composed of three City Council members from the City of Port Hueneme and two directors from the Channel Islands Beach Community Services District (CIBCSD). PHWA operates as a cost-effective conjunctive use water supply entity, which provides a means to reduce historical sea water intrusion along the coast, enhances fire protection, improves water quality, encourages wastewater reclamation, and complies with the county-wide extraction reduction schedule.

Laubacher Farms

Established in 1903, Laubacher Farms Inc. is a 4th generation family farm located in beautiful Ventura County. Laubacher Farms grows specialty Organic produce and select farm-fresh conventional produce.

About Lincus, Inc.

Lincus is an energy demand side management consulting firm and program implementer serving utilities, program administrators and commercial, residential, agriculture and industrial energy users. Lincus provides broad range of energy and water utility services covering energy efficiency, strategic energy management, decarbonization (building electrification and transportation electrification), greenhouse gas emission verification, water and wastewater engineering, emerging technologies, evaluation, measurement & verification (EM&V), among others. With a team of thought leaders actively engaged the clean energy forums and councils, staff members with unique skillset of combining technical and policy/ regulations expertise, and several patented innovative technologies, Lincus brings new ideas to complicated energy and sustainability challenges. Learn more about Lincus at www.lincus.com.