America’s Water Infrastructure Act, the comprehensive infrastructure legislation passed by Congress in the fall and signed by the president on Oct. 23, will allow West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) to access an additional $35 million in federal funding for its Harbor South Bay Water Recycling project.
This major federal water infrastructure package includes a specific provision to allow West Basin to pursue significant funding through the Army Corps of Engineers to upgrade and increase capacity at the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) in El Segundo, Calif. S. 3021 includes provisions to double the original project authorization from $35 million to $70 million, which will assist West Basin in ensuring that an adequate water supply for the Los Angeles region is met for current and future demands.
Since 1994, West Basin has partnered with the Army Corps of Engineers to expand the availability and use of recycled water throughout the South Bay region of Los Angeles. Once secured, this funding will allow West Basin to further expand a pipeline delivery system for recycled water, advance construction of treatment facilities and pump stations to ensure improvements to water quality, and expand capacity at the facility to further increase water supply reliability in Southern California.
“West Basin achieved the milestone of producing more than 200 billion gallons of recycled water this year,” said Donald L. Dear, West Basin Board President. “With increased federal funding, we hope to celebrate additional growth milestones and provide even more recycled water to the region. This legislative achievement would not have been possible without the steadfast advocacy and support that West Basin received from its entire California Congressional delegation.”
All of West Basin’s Members of Congress wrote to the leadership of the key Congressional Committees of jurisdiction – the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee – strongly requesting that language be included in the comprehensive federal water measure to increase the funding authorization amount for the Harbor South Bay water recycling initiative. Those Members of Congress instrumental in successfully including this critical provision in the legislation are: Sen. Dianne Feinstein; Sen. Kamala Harris; Rep. Ted Lieu; Rep. Maxine Waters; Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan; Rep. Adam Schiff; Rep. Alan Lowenthal; Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard; and Rep. Karen Bass.
Recognition is also extended to Rep. Grace Napolitano, who serves as the Ranking Member to the House water subcommittee which played a key role in advancing the bill, as she exerted influential support for the Harbor South Bay project funding request.
Originally, the $35 million federal authorization for the ECLWRF was part of the Water Resources Development Act of 1992; and West Basin opened its water recycling facility in 1995. Today, West Basin is a longtime industry leader in the recycled water category.
The District’s recycled water program operates across four facilities located in El Segundo, Carson and Torrance with more than 120 miles of recycled water pipelines. The District produces 40 million gallons of recycled water each day to more than 200 sites throughout its 185-square mile service area.
Recycled water contributes greatly to a diversified water portfolio. Through its regional use in West Basin’s service area, recycled water increases water reliability by diversifying and augmenting local water supplies, which increases drought resiliency and decreases reliance on imported water. For more information about West Basin and the expansion of its water recycling efforts, please visit www.westbasin.org.