Importance of Water Reliability Explored at ACWA Region 8 Event

  • by Steve Cole
  • Sep 11, 2017
  • Voices on Water

Steve ColeMore than 80 ACWA members gathered August 24th for the one-day Region 8 event, “Water Reliability: The Continued Value of Local Projects.”

The event opened with ACWA Acting Executive Director Paul Kelley updating attendees on ACWA’s 2017 priorities. He discussed issues including Bay-Delta Flow Requirements, long-term conservation policy, water storage investments, water rates, disadvantaged community’s drinking water solutions, and ACWA’s Agricultural Initiative.

Following Paul’s update, the first panel titled “Local Water Supply Projects” discussed efforts within the region to stabilize the local water supply. The panel was moderated by ACWA President Kathy Tiegs and included Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Director of Water Resources David Pettijohn, Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster General Manager Tony Zampiello, Water Replenishment District of Southern California General Manager Robb Whitaker, and West Basin Municipal Water District Co-Acting General Manager Fernando Paludi. Local projects that were discussed during the panel included LADWP’s Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project, West Basin MWD’s Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) Treatment Pilot at Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles, WRD’s Water Independence Now Initiative, and Main San Gabriel Watermasters collaborative efforts to effectively manage the groundwater basin.

The second panel, which I moderated, was titled “Where’s the Delta Going?”  The panel featured Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California Manager of Bay-Delta Initiatives Steve Arakawa and Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency (AVEK) General Manager Dwayne Chisam. Arakawa gave an overview of the California WaterFix and MWD’s review process for the project. Current analysis shows without the CA WaterFix total average delivery capability of the State Water Project (SWP) could be reduced by 1.2 million acre feet per year and with the CA WaterFix deliveries would likely stabilize or increase. Chisam discussed AVEK’s support for WaterFix to meet water supply needs and concerns for financing the project with a limited customer base.

The event concluded with a panel discussion, “Dealing with Aging Infrastructure,” moderated by ACWA Vice President Brent Hastey and featuring Rowland Water District General Manager Tom Coleman, Calleguas MWD Manager of Engineering Kristine McCaffrey, and Department of Water Resources Operations and Maintenance Asset Management Chief David Rennie. Coleman discussed his districts partnerships which have helped to cover costs for repairs and replacements of critical infrastructure. One such partnership is the Pomona-Walnut-Rowland Joint Water Line that serves three local water agencies and collects funds for replacement costs through assessment from water deliveries to each agency.  McCaffrey gave an overview of Calleguas MWD’s recent system failures and the solutions and strategies the district uses to prevent and respond to issues. Calleguas does an Eddy Current inspection on PCCP pipes every five years and a visual inspection of all pipes yearly. Rennie concluded the program with a discussion on “Making the Case for Capital Reinvestment in Aging Infrastructure” which included a discussion on risk-informed decision making and infrastructure life cycle. Rennie also gave an update on the Oroville Dam.

I want to thank all of the event speakers for their time and informative presentations. I would also like to thank the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for hosting our event.

For those would like to see the presentations for the event, you can find the event materials on ACWA’s website www.acwa.com.

Region 8 will have a region membership meeting at ACWA’s Fall Conference in Anaheim.  I look forward to seeing everyone at Conference!

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