WRD Hosts 2nd Annual State of the District

Dec 02, 2010, 16:15 ET from Water Replenishment District of Southern California

District Presents an Overview of the Groundwater Supply in Southern LA County

LAKEWOOD, Calif., Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) hosted its 2nd Annual State of the District address.  WRD Board President Sergio Calderon and WRD General Manager Robb Whitaker presented local officials and members of the public with an overview of south Los Angeles County's groundwater condition and highlighted WRD's smart water programs, projects and partnerships that directly aim to address the region's water constraints.

Within WRD's 420-square mile services area, groundwater constitutes almost half of the overall water supply for more than 4 million residents, representing 10% of the state's population. With California facing its fourth year of drought and significant reduction of water from the Colorado River and the Bay Delta, the reliability of local groundwater supplies become even more important.

"Today's address serves as a reminder to everyone about the formation of WRD and its mission. It provides a snap shot of the last 50 years of WRD's history that includes some of the most innovative engineering, smart planning and strategic partnerships," said WRD Board President Sergio Calderon. "It also serves as means to continue our outreach by informing the public about major water programs that will directly impact businesses and residents."

This year, the Board laid the foundation for its cornerstone program, the Groundwater Reliability Improvement Program (GRIP), bringing it a step closer to realizing its goal of becoming fully independent from imported water.  As part of the WRD Water Independence Now (WIN) Program, GRIP will bring together the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, and the County Sanitation Districts to increase the local replenishment water supply by 18,000 acre-feet per year, nearly 6 billion gallons, enough water to meet the yearly needs of almost 144,000 southern Californians.

The development of a local water supply has always been an objective of the District and finding solutions for providing much needed alternative sources of replenishment water such as developing highly purified recycled water remains a big part of our mission. Partnerships with the Los Angeles County Flood Control District and the Sanitations District of Los Angeles County have helped increase storm water capture and water reuse for groundwater replenishment.

WRD and the Los Angeles County Flood Control District are cooperatively funding the Spreading Grounds Interconnection Pipeline to increase the capture of storm water.  Connecting the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel Spreading Grounds, the Pipeline increases Flood Control District's operational flexibility and will enable the capture of an additional 1,300 acre-feet of storm water annually.  The Interconnection Pipeline is planned to be operational during this year's storm season.

Furthering efforts to secure a reliable water supply for the region, the District, in conjunction with several groundwater producers, are working to establish a framework to utilize groundwater storage in southern Los Angeles County.  The framework will allow utilization of the largest untapped water resource asset in Southern California, 150 billion gallons of storage capacity in the Central and West Basins. Use of this available groundwater storage will increase water supply reliability and help eliminate the region's dependence on expensive imported water.

Strategic community partnerships play a significant role in furthering the District's mission by educating the public and young people about the importance of groundwater, the health of watersheds and the role of environmental stewardship in protecting groundwater resources. This year, the District participated in six key programs throughout its service area that enhances WRD's strategic educational outreach.

Because of last year's nearly half million dollar grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the WRD is now conducting preliminary engineering activities to expand the Leo. J. Vander Lans Advance Water Treatment Facility (Vander Lans AWTF). Once completed, Vander Lans AWTF will completely eliminate imported water used for injection at the Alamitos Barrier.

The year 2010 has been marked with remarkable accomplishments for WRD.  For the sixth year in a row, WRD was honored with a Certificate of Excellence for Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association as well as its sixth consecutive Meritorious Budgeting Award for its 2009-2010 Budget from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers.  WRD's budget preparation process is widely regarded as one of the more rigorously transparent budget process of any local agency in the State.

WRD has also had the distinct honor of being awarded the WateReuse Institution of the Year for 2010 by the pre-eminent WateReuse Association. The award recognizes institutions whose significance and contributions to the community continue to advance the water reuse industry.

"This year's achievements reflect the exceptional work of our dedicated staff and my colleagues on the Board to ensure that WRD is true to its mission to protect and replenish the Central and West Coast Basins," stated WRD board President Sergio Calderon.    

For more information about WRD, please visit our website at www.wrd.org.

About WRD

Created by voters in 1959, WRD is a regional groundwater management agency that protects and preserves the quantity and quality of groundwater supplies for nearly four million residents in southern Los Angeles County or 10% of the State's population. For more information, please visit www.wrd.org.

SOURCE Water Replenishment District of Southern California